"It could also have served to transfer terrorists from the Gaza strip into Egypt in order to attack Israeli targets from Egypt".
Initial investigations showed that the fishing boat had not crossed into Egyptian water, the Ministry said, going on to call on the Egyptian authorities to launch an investigation into the incident.
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.More news: Katie Couric Opens Up About Matt Lauer's Firing From 'Today' Show
The announcement stressed that the tunnel constituted a blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty, endangering the citizens of Israel and sabotaging the humanitarian efforts that Israel is making for the citizens of Gaza. The destruction of the terror tunnel network is an essential component of our systematic policy to harm Hamas's strategic capabilities.
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The military said in a statement that the tunnel extended from the Palestinian town of Rafah, staring about 900 meters from the Israeli border, and was dug below the border crossing and under pipelines used to transport natural gas and gasoline into Gaza.More news: Pimco Municipal Income Fund Plans Monthly Dividend of $0.06 (NYSE:PMF)
Earlier Saturday, Israel's defence ministry said the Kerem Shalom goods crossing between Gaza and Israel near Rafah would be closed from Sunday "until further notice".
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Sunday before departing for his trip to India.
Last year, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot responded to criticism that the military was targeting "sand dunes and empty bunkers" in its strikes in Gaza, telling the Knesset that the IDF is actively thwarting the tunnels and publicly acknowledging for the first time that the army has the technology to do so.More news: Guardiola Backs Man City To Survive Liverpool Test, Continue Unbeaten Run
Cross-border violence between Israel and Gaza has increased since US President Donald Trump's 6 December decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that has angered and sparked protests by Palestinians who see the city as the capital of their future state. Palestinians in Gaza have launched 18 cross-border rockets or mortars and 15 protesters and two gunmen have been killed by Israeli fire.