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Gaza fisherman shot dead by Egyptian army - Palestinians

14 January 2018

Israel occupation army jets have attacked what military described as targets along the border near Gaza Egyptian border, the Israeli occupation army announced late Saturday.

Earlier, the IOF informed the Palestinians on Saturday evening that it was made a decision to temporarily close for all traffic the Kerem Abu Salem crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, starting Sunday morning. The airstrike on the tunnel took place late Saturday night.

The tunnel destroyed early Saturday morning is believed to have been a Hamas tunnel which stretched for nearly a kilometer running under the Kerem Shalom crossing near the gas pipeline and continued into Egyptian territory.

The Israel Defense Forces would not elaborate on the nature of the "infrastructure" that was bombed.

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The tunnel belonged to Hamas and could have been used to smuggle weapons and terrorists from Egypt into the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army only said that it struck "a tunnel on the border with the Gaza Strip", and held Hamas fully responsible for any escalation that could emerge in the coastal region.

"Hamas must understand that we will not permit these attacks and we will respond with even greater force", Netanyahu said in remarks to Israeli media before departing on his trip to India.

Israel's operation on Saturday was conducted against a backdrop of a number of rocket attacks against Israel, emanating from the Gaza Strip.

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Media asked if the tunnel could have functioned as both a smuggling and attack tunnel, the army spokesperson responded, "It could have, but we deal with the infrastructure". The 1.5-kilometer (about 0.93-mile) long tunnel, which passed under several strategic Israeli targets such as a gas pipeline, was completely destroyed in the strike.

Nezar Ayyash, the head of Gaza fishermen union, earlier said the fisherman had been shot by gunfire from the Egyptian border.

Violent riots raged in the Gaza Strip and across the West Bank as parts remain under military lock down following the shooting of a settler in the Nablus area last week, the Israel Defense Forces reported Friday.

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Gaza fisherman shot dead by Egyptian army - Palestinians