Situation in Gaza border area ‘very quiet’ as Netanyahu visits
Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu made a previously unannounced visit to the Gaza border area on Tuesday, his first since the announcement on April 18 that a Hamas infiltration tunnel had been discovered in the area.
The prime minister inspected the entrance to the tunnel along with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, the IDF chief of staff, Lieut. Gen. Gady Eisenkot, the head of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, and the commander of the Gaza division, Brig. Gen. Itay Virob.
During the visit, he met with soldiers from the 51st battalion and with female soldiers serving in observation posts, telling them that the past two years have been the quietest in the area for many years.
Shortly before his visit, it was announced that before the Passover holiday, Israeli customs inspectors at the Nitzana crossing, in cooperation with the Shin Bet internal security service, thwarted an attempt to smuggle four tons of immonium chloride, used for the production of long-range rockets, into Gaza . That amount of the material could have been used to build hundreds of rockets.
Immediately after Netanyahu left the area, a gunman or gunmen in Gaza opened fire on a force of IDF troops operating near an area of the border fence across from the northern part of the strip, but none of the soldiers were hurt.
DEBKAfile's counterterrorism sources: It should be assumed that there are additional Hamas tunnels in the border area. On April 18, the same day that the discovery of the tunnel was announced, a Hamas cell carried out a suicide bombing of a bus in Jerusalem in which 20 people were wounded. Then, before Passover, someone in Hamas tried to smuggle the materials for building rockets into Gaza. And the incidents of gunfire from Gaza at IDF troops continue.
Where is the quiet that the prime minister mentioned?