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They were never going to notice, right? Israel announced the discovery of an underground tunnel over a mile long dug out from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip into Israel. The military contends militants were planning to use it to carry out attacks against Israelis.

Residents in a kibbutz, Ein Hashlosha, complained about an unusual noise near the Gaza border to the military last Tuesday. Sure enough, when the military went to inspect the problem they discovered an entrance to the one and a half miles long underground tunnel that's roughly 50-60 ft. deep, officials told the BBC, and would have taken about a month to build. The tunnel was allegedly in use  until the Israeli military discovered its existence last week

The Israeli military says militants were likely going to use the tunnel to carry out an attack. They have good reason to think so: in 2006, an officer with Israel's military was kidnapped by Gaza militants who entered the country through a similar tunnel. The military also told the BBC they found explosives hidden inside the tunnel during the week-long inspection that preceded the tunnel's official announcement. (They held back disclosing the discovery for security reasons during inspection.) 

Israel froze the transfer of all construction materials into Gaza after the tunnel's discovery, angering Gaza's Hamas rulers. One government spokesperson said Israel was "exaggerating things," and "trying to justify the blockade and the continuous aggression on the Gaza Strip." Another military spokesperson warned over Twitter that Hamas could build "thousands" more tunnels. Gaza does use a vast network of underground tunnels to Egypt to smuggle weapons and humanitarian supplies into the country. Egypt has resorted to drastic measures to combat the smuggling, too. 

[Pictured: Israels' prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, above ground.]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.