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Israel says it's found tunnel from Gaza

From Jim Clancy, CNN
updated 6:13 AM EDT, Mon October 14, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The tunnel is nearly 60 feet underground and more than a mile long
  • It is the third such tunnel found in the past year, IDF says

Jerusalem (CNN) -- A tunnel from Gaza into Israel was discovered by the Israeli military last week, the Israel Defense Forces said Sunday.

In response, Israel said it was halting supplies for concrete and construction materials going into Gaza.

The tunnel is roughly 18 meters (59 feet) underground and stretches for some 1.7 kilometers (1.06 miles).

In video that Israel's Channel 10 aired, the tunnel appeared to be wired for electricity and was high enough for a man to stand, walk or run though. An Israeli reporter who was inside the tunnel reported seeing markings and dates indicating the tunnel had been completed in July.

The Israeli military said the most likely use for such a tunnel would be to kidnap soldiers or civilians and take them back into Gaza to trade for Palestinian prisoners.

A similar tunnel was used to kidnap soldier Gilad Shalit in June 2006. His capture ended five years later after Israel released more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners.

The new tunnel increases concerns on the Israeli side for its sheer size and sophistication.

It is the third such tunnel found along the Gaza-Israel security fence in the past year, according to the military.

"The IDF operates under the notion that there are additional tunnels jeopardizing civilians and security personnel in the area," Brig. Gen. Mickey Edelstein, commander of the Gaza division, said in a statement.

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