Gaza war: Israel uncovers 1.5-kilometre-long `terrorist` tunnel route in eastern Rafah – WION

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Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Wednesday claimed to have uncovered a 1.5-kilometre-long “terrorist” tunnel route in eastern Rafah, which had dozens of anti-tank missiles and weapons. 

This comes hours after the Israeli army said that it had gained “operational control” over the strategic Philadelphi corridor along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. A military official told reporters on condition of anonymity that Israel has “established operational control” over the 14-kilometre (8.5-mile) corridor. 

IDF also said that 100 meters from the Rafah Crossing, Israeli soldiers located a tunnel shaft branching into several different routes that contained several blast doors, a hideout and additional facilities. 

“The tunnels were used to carry out terrorist attacks against our forces,” IDF said, further adding, “We will continue operating wherever Hamas is hiding in order to eliminate the threat they pose to Israelis.” 

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Israeli forces have continued their raids in Rafah, where some 1.4 million people sought refuge when the Israeli offensive started in Northern Gaza, despite a global outcry and an order from the International Court of Justice for a halt to the attacks on the city. 

Meanwhile, residents in Rafah said Israeli tanks had pushed into Tel Al-Sultan in the west and Yibna and near Shaboura in the centre before retreating towards a buffer zone on the border with Egypt, rather than staying put the way they did in other offensives. 

“We received distress calls from residents in Tel Al-Sultan where drones targeted displaced citizens as they moved from areas where they were staying toward the safe areas,” the deputy director of ambulance and emergency services in Rafah, Haitham al Hams, said. 

Israel intercepts cruise missile 

IDF also claimed that they had shot down a cruise missile “launched from the east”, suggesting that it was fired from Iraq. However, there’s no confirmation yet. The army has described attacks from Iraq in the past as “from the east”. 

Meanwhile, a top Israeli security official stated that the war could go on until the year end. 

The military also claims that a “suspicious aerial target” that crossed from Lebanon was shot down by the Iron Dome air defense system a short time ago after alarms went off in the northern town of Margaliot. Local reports mentioned that there were no injuries or damage caused in the attack. 

Watch: Absence of day-after plan could trigger chaos in Gaza, says Blinken 

Death toll update 

In the latest update, the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said on Thursday that at least 36,224 people have been killed in the territory in the war so far. 

The toll includes at least 53 deaths over the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 81,777 people have been wounded in the Gaza Strip since the war began when Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7. 

Disclaimer: WION takes utmost care to accurately and responsibly report ongoing developments on the Israel-Palestine conflict after the Hamas attacks. However, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos. 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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Srishti Singh Sisodia

Srishti Singh Sisodia is a digital journalist at WION and majorly writes on world politics. She is a die-hard FCBarcelona fan. She follows world sports and likes

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