Israeli military sources reported that soldiers are currently operating
along the Philadelphi Route, around the Rafah border crossing, in the
southern part of the Gaza Strip. This marks the first time that
soldiers operate there since Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
The sources stated that the operation took place approximately 1.5 kilometers inside the Palestinian area, and that infantry troops from the Givate Brigade invaded the area near the Rafah crossing and initiated searches for tunnels used by resistance factions for smuggling arms and ammunition into the Gaza Strip.
Also, the sources added the specialists from the Bedouin Scout Battalion are aiding the army in locating the tunnels.
The attack was carried out after the Shin Bet Israeli's Security Service gathered intelligence reports on “the presence of tunnels in the area.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that two tunnels were discovered and destroyed in a controlled explosion carried out by military engineers.
According to Haaretz, 15 tunnels were discovered and destroyed in the Gaza Strip in recent months.
Also, military sources in Israel said that there are plans to widen the military operation in the Philadelphi Route in order to locate and destroy more tunnels.
Haaretz added that, so far, the military operation near Rafah met no Palestinian resistance.
An assessment by Israeli security sources indicated, earlier this week, that more than 20 tons of explosives have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip in addition to approximately 30 Russian-made anti-tank shells.
The assessment also indicated that the armed wing of Hamas is attempting to improve the range of its homemade shells to be able to hit targets 10 to 15 kilometers away.