The military wing of the ruling Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) claimed on Sunday that it was responsible for the tunnel uncovered by Israel last week. The so-called "Khan Younis Tunnel" stretched 2.5km under the border between the beleaguered territory and Israel.
Speaking to Radio Al-Aqsa, a spokesman for the Izzedine Al-Qassam Brigades said that the tunnel had been dug as part of the efforts to force the Israelis to release some of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners they are holding in their jails.
In 2011, Israel freed 1,400 political prisoners in return for the release of the Sergeant Gilad Shalit, who had been captured near the Gaza border in 2006 in an operation which used a similar tunnel.
According to spokesman Abu Ubaida, the Palestinian resistance is going to "surprise" the Israeli occupation authorities even more unless it stops its ongoing violations against the Palestinians, their lands and their holy places.