Israel said on Sunday that it had destroyed a tunnel dug by Hamas from Gaza into Israeli territory, dealing a substantial blow to one of the main strategic assets in the Islamic militant group’s arsenal.
It was the second cross-border tunnel in six weeks that the Israeli military said it had detected and put out of use with new technologies, leading officials to predict the end of the cross-border threat from such tunnels.
“We have reached new technological capabilities in the struggle against terror tunnels,” Israel’s defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said in a statement.
Referring to Israeli border communities, he added, “I hope that in the coming months the tunnel threat to the residents of the ‘Gaza envelope’ will become a thing of the past.”
More immediately, the action against the tunnel injected another element of uncertainty into the simmering tensions over President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Clashes on Friday and Saturday between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces in many parts of the West Bank and along the border with Gaza were not as huge as many had feared, and most had died down by Sunday.
The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, noted the relatively low intensity of the backlash so far as she defended Mr. Trump’s declaration on Sunday.
“Everybody said the sky was going to fall,” she said in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN. “The sky is still up there, it hasn’t fallen.”