Inside Gaza's vast network of tunnels

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Inside Gaza's vast network of tunnels
A Norwegian member of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force stands by Israeli soldiers keeping position in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on September 11, 2014 during the release by Al-Qaeda-linked fighters of a group of 45 UN Fijian peacekeepers kidnapped by the Islamist rebels two weeks ago in the Syrian side of the strategic plateau. The peacekeepers, who were snatched from Quneitra on the Syrian side of the strategic plateau on August 28, were released unharmed and said to be in 'good condition,' the spokesperson said. AFP PHOTO / JALAA MAREY (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers play music during a break of their duty at Kerem Shalom Kibbutz in the southern Israeli border with the Gaza Strip on September 8, 2014. Since the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas militants, following fifty days of fighting, most Israeli residents living near the border with the Palestinian enclave returned to their homes with the army on high alert and new security measures to protect them. AFP PHOTO/ MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA, PALESTINE - 2014/09/02: Face covered militants from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), holding rifles in Gaza city during a rally to celebrate a week after the Egypt-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. (Photo by Ahmed Hjazy/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A Palestinian man kisses a Hamas militant sniper during a parade by Hamas militants in Shejaiya on August 27, 2014. Israel and Palestinians both boasted of victory in the Gaza war but analysts say Hamas received only promises while the conflict aggravated divisions in the Israeli leadership. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK, PALESTINE - 2014/08/22: An Israeli soldier shoots a tear gas canister into a crowd of Palestinian protesters. The Islamic Jihad faction organized protests in solidarity with Gaza, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. As ceasefire talks collapsed completely in Cairo earlier this week, and fighting renewed on Wednesday. Hamas launched a barrage of rockets towards Southern Israel, some reaching as far as Jerusalem and illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, some 80 kilometers away from Gaza. Late Tuesday evening an Israeli missile struck the home of Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif, killing his wife and three-year-old daughter. Deif, according to Hamas reports was not assassinated. On Thursday, three more to military commanders, Muhammad Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Muhammad Barhoum were also killed in airstrikes. In response, Hamas killed what they believed to be collaborators with Israel in Gaza. 18 suspected of having worked with Israeli army intelligence have been killed so far. Late Friday afternoon, a four-year-old Israeli child from Nihal Oz was killed by mortar fire from Gaza. To date, the death toll from the Gaza war stands at 2090 Palestinians and 67 Israelis. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK, PALESTINE - 2014/08/22: On the front lines of protest, as a lone Palestinian protester and two Israeli soldiers face off. The Islamic Jihad faction organized protests in solidarity with Gaza, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. As ceasefire talks collapsed completely in Cairo earlier this week, and fighting renewed on Wednesday. Hamas launched a barrage of rockets towards Southern Israel, some reaching as far as Jerusalem and illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, some 80 kilometers away from Gaza. Late Tuesday evening an Israeli missile struck the home of Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif, killing his wife and three-year-old daughter. Deif, according to Hamas reports was not assassinated. On Thursday, three more to military commanders, Muhammad Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Muhammad Barhoum were also killed in airstrikes. In response, Hamas killed what they believed to be collaborators with Israel in Gaza. 18 suspected of having worked with Israeli army intelligence have been killed so far. Late Friday afternoon, a four-year-old Israeli child from Nihal Oz was killed by mortar fire from Gaza. To date, the death toll from the Gaza war stands at 2090 Palestinians and 67 Israelis. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 file photo, Israeli soldiers enter a tunnel discovered near the Israel Gaza border. They've been dubbed 'lower Gaza,'€ compared to the Underground, the Metro or the subway and depicted as a bone-chilling, strategic threat to Israel. Hamas'€™ web of tunnels is taking center stage in the relentless conflict between the militant group and Israel, with Israel'€™s ground offensive placing their destruction as a key objective. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)
FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 file photo, an Israeli soldier stands at the exit of a tunnel discovered near the Israel Gaza border. They'€™ve been dubbed '€œlower Gaza,'€ compared to the Underground, the Metro or the subway and depicted as a bone-chilling, strategic threat to Israel. Hamas'€™ web of tunnels is taking center stage in the relentless conflict between the militant group and Israel, with Israel'€™s ground offensive placing their destruction as a key objective. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)
BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK, PALESTINE - 2014/08/22: An Israeli soldier walks past a Banksy graffitti mural in Bethlehem. The Islamic Jihad faction organized protests in solidarity with Gaza, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. As ceasefire talks collapsed completely in Cairo earlier this week, and fighting renewed on Wednesday. Hamas launched a barrage of rockets towards Southern Israel, some reaching as far as Jerusalem and illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, some 80 kilometers away from Gaza. Late Tuesday evening an Israeli missile struck the home of Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif, killing his wife and three-year-old daughter. Deif, according to Hamas reports was not assassinated. On Thursday, three more to military commanders, Muhammad Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Muhammad Barhoum were also killed in airstrikes. In response, Hamas killed what they believed to be collaborators with Israel in Gaza. 18 suspected of having worked with Israeli army intelligence have been killed so far. Late Friday afternoon, a four-year-old Israeli child from Nihal Oz was killed by mortar fire from Gaza. To date, the death toll from the Gaza war stands at 2090 Palestinians and 67 Israelis. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK, PALESTINE - 2014/08/22: An Israeli soldiers gets ready to throw a stun grenade into a group of Palestinian protesters below him. The Islamic Jihad faction organized protests in solidarity with Gaza, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. As ceasefire talks collapsed completely in Cairo earlier this week, and fighting renewed on Wednesday. Hamas launched a barrage of rockets towards Southern Israel, some reaching as far as Jerusalem and illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, some 80 kilometers away from Gaza. Late Tuesday evening an Israeli missile struck the home of Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif, killing his wife and three-year-old daughter. Deif, according to Hamas reports was not assassinated. On Thursday, three more to military commanders, Muhammad Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Muhammad Barhoum were also killed in airstrikes. In response, Hamas killed what they believed to be collaborators with Israel in Gaza. 18 suspected of having worked with Israeli army intelligence have been killed so far. Late Friday afternoon, a four-year-old Israeli child from Nihal Oz was killed by mortar fire from Gaza. To date, the death toll from the Gaza war stands at 2090 Palestinians and 67 Israelis. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 file photo, Israeli soldiers walk through a tunnel discovered near the Israel Gaza border. They've been dubbed '€œlower Gaza,'€ compared to the Underground, the Metro or the subway and depicted as a bone-chilling, strategic threat to Israel. Hamas'€™ web of tunnels is taking center stage in the relentless conflict between the militant group and Israel, with Israel's ground offensive placing their destruction as a key objective. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)
FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 file photo, Israeli soldiers enter a tunnel discovered near the Israel Gaza border. They’ve been dubbed “lower Gaza,” compared to the Underground, the Metro or the subway and depicted as a bone-chilling, strategic threat to Israel. Hamas’ web of tunnels is taking center stage in the relentless conflict between the militant group and Israel, with Israel’s ground offensive placing their destruction as a key objective. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)
A Palestinian smuggler lowers himself into a smuggling tunnel on the border between Egypt and Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Friday, May, 1, 2009. The Israeli military says its aircraft struck smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip Friday. It says aircraft went after two tunnels in two separate strikes in response to rocket fire by Palestinian militants. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
A Palestinian smuggler lowers himself into a smuggling tunnel on the border with Egypt and Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Friday, Aug. 28, 2009. Three Palestinians were killed when a smuggling tunnel running under the Gaza-Egypt border collapsed, said Moiawa Hassanien, a Palestinian health official. Israel and Egypt have blockaded Gaza since the militant group Hamas seized power there in 2007. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP - NOVEMBER 15: Masked Palestinian men prepare to lower a cow into an underground chamber as Palestinians continue to smuggle supplies and animals through tunnels between Rafah, southern Gaza Strip and Egypt as the Gaza crossings remain closed on November 15, 2008 in Rafah, Southern Gaza Strip, Gaza. Israel has tightened the blockade in recent weeks as a response to continued rocket fire by Palestinian militants and assertions on both sides that ceasefire agreements have been violated. Muslims are preparing for Eid al-Adha, celebrated at the end of pilgrimage of the Hajj, purchasing cattle to be slaughtered in commemoration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP - NOVEMBER 15: Masked Palestinian men lower a cow into a underground chamber as Palestinians continue to smuggle supplies and animals through tunnels between Rafah, southern Gaza Strip and Egypt as the Gaza crossings remain closed on November 15, 2008 in Rafah, Southern Gaza Strip, Gaza. Israel has tightened the blockade in recent weeks as a response to continued rocket fire by Palestinian militants and assertions on both sides that ceasefire agreements have been violated. Muslims are preparing for Eid al-Adha, celebrated at the end of pilgrimage of the Hajj, purchasing cattle to be slaughtered in commemoration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP - NOVEMBER 15: Masked Palestinian men prepare to lower a cow into a underground chamber as Palestinians continue to smuggle supplies and animals through tunnels between Rafah, southern Gaza Strip and Egypt as the Gaza crossings remain closed on November 15, 2008 in Rafah, Southern Gaza Strip, Gaza. Israel has tightened the blockade in recent weeks as a response to continued rocket fire by Palestinian militants and assertions on both sides that ceasefire agreements have been violated. Muslims are preparing for Eid al-Adha, celebrated at the end of pilgrimage of the Hajj, purchasing cattle to be slaughtered in commemoration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP - NOVEMBER 15: Masked Palestinian men lower a cow into an underground chamber as Palestinians continue to smuggle supplies and animals through tunnels between Rafah, southern Gaza Strip and Egypt as the Gaza crossings remain closed on November 15, 2008 in Rafah, Southern Gaza Strip, Gaza. Israel has tightened the blockade in recent weeks as a response to continued rocket fire by Palestinian militants and assertions on both sides that ceasefire agreements have been violated. Muslims are preparing for Eid al-Adha, celebrated at the end of pilgrimage of the Hajj, purchasing cattle to be slaughtered in commeration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP - NOVEMBER 15: Masked Palestinian men lower a cow into an underground chamber as Palestinians continue to smuggle supplies and animals through tunnels between Rafah, southern Gaza Strip and Egypt as the Gaza crossings remain closed on November 15, 2008 in Rafah, Southern Gaza Strip, Gaza. Israel has tightened the blockade in recent weeks as a response to continued rocket fire by Palestinian militants and assertions on both sides that ceasefire agreements have been violated. Muslims are preparing for Eid al-Adha, celebrated at the end of pilgrimage of the Hajj, purchasing cattle to be slaughtered in commeration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP - NOVEMBER 15: Masked Palestinian men lower a cow into an underground chamber as Palestinians continue to smuggle supplies and animals through tunnels between Rafah, southern Gaza Strip and Egypt as the Gaza crossings remain closed on November 15, 2008 in Rafah, Southern Gaza Strip, Gaza. Israel has tightened the blockade in recent weeks as a response to continued rocket fire by Palestinian militants and assertions on both sides that ceasefire agreements have been violated. Muslims are preparing for Eid al-Adha, celebrated at the end of pilgrimage of the Hajj, purchasing cattle to be slaughtered in commeration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP - NOVEMBER 15: Masked Palestinian men lower a cow into an underground chamber as Palestinians continue to smuggle supplies and animals through tunnels between Rafah, southern Gaza Strip and Egypt as the Gaza crossings remain closed on November 15, 2008 in Rafah, Southern Gaza Strip, Gaza. Israel has tightened the blockade in recent weeks as a response to continued rocket fire by Palestinian militants and assertions on both sides that ceasefire agreements have been violated. Muslims are preparing for Eid al-Adha, celebrated at the end of pilgrimage of the Hajj, purchasing cattle to be slaughtered in commeration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)
Rafah, : A Palestinian security officer lowers himself into a tunnel leading underground across the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, 07 December 2005, in Rafah, the southern Gaza Strip. Palestinian security forces sealed the two tunnels that had been used to smuggle in arms from neighboring Egypt, the interior ministry said. AFP PHOTO/SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
This undated photo released by the Israel Defense Forces on Friday, March 21, 2014, that they claim shows a tunnel dug from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that stretches hundreds of meters (yards) inside Israel. The Israeli military says it has discovered another tunnel — the biggest so far — dug from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip into Israel and says it was intended for attacks on soldiers and civilians. Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida blamed the tunnel's discovery on recent rains that exposed its opening. (AP Photo/Israeli Defense Forces)
The entrance of a tunnel reportedly dug by Palestinians beneath the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel and recently uncovered by Israeli troops, on October 13, 2013. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the army 'for exposing the Gaza terror tunnel' at a weekly cabinet meeting this morning. AFP PHOTO / DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
EIN HASHLOSHA - OCTOBER 17: In this handout still from a video provided by the U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro (R) visits a recently-discovered tunnel leading from Gaza to Israel October 17, 2013 in Ein HaShlosha, Israel. Ambassador Shapiro demonstrated U.S. support for Israel's security and its right to defend itself. 'It is clear that this tunnel has only one purpose: to carry out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers,' Shapiro said. (Photo by Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 29: In this handout provided by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon tours the recently discovered tunnel linking Gaza to Israel while visiting the Southern Command and the Gaza Division October 29, 2013 along the Israeli border with Gaza. Ya'alon reassured Israelis after the discovery of the tunnel that security on the southern border was strong. (Photo by Alon Besson/Ministry of Defense via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 29: In this handout provided by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon tours the recently discovered tunnel linking Gaza to Israel while visiting the Southern Command and the Gaza Division October 29, 2013 along the Israeli border with Gaza. Ya'alon reassured Israelis after the discovery of the tunnel that security on the southern border was strong. (Photo by Alon Besson/Ministry of Defense via Getty Images)
EIN HASHLOSHA - OCTOBER 17: In this handout still from a video provided by the U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro (R) visits a recently-discovered tunnel leading from Gaza to Israel October 17, 2013 in Ein HaShlosha, Israel. Ambassador Shapiro demonstrated U.S. support for Israel's security and its right to defend itself. 'It is clear that this tunnel has only one purpose: to carry out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers,' Shapiro said. (Photo by Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv via Getty Images)
EIN HASHLOSHA - OCTOBER 17: In this handout still from a video provided by the U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro (L) visits a recently-discovered tunnel leading from Gaza to Israel October 17, 2013 in Ein HaShlosha, Israel. Ambassador Shapiro demonstrated U.S. support for Israel's security and its right to defend itself. 'It is clear that this tunnel has only one purpose: to carry out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers,' Shapiro said. (Photo by Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 29: In this handout provided by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (C) tours the recently discovered tunnel linking Gaza to Israel while visiting the Southern Command and the Gaza Division October 29, 2013 along the Israeli border with Gaza. Ya'alon reassured Israelis after the discovery of the tunnel that security on the southern border was strong. (Photo by Alon Besson/Ministry of Defense via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 29: In this handout provided by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon tours the recently discovered tunnel linking Gaza to Israel while visiting the Southern Command and the Gaza Division October 29, 2013 along the Israeli border with Gaza. Ya'alon reassured Israelis after the discovery of the tunnel that security on the southern border was strong. (Photo by Alon Besson/Ministry of Defense via Getty Images)
An Israeli soldier is seen at the entrance of a tunnel reportedly dug by Palestinians beneath the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel and recently uncovered by Israeli troops, on October 13, 2013. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the army 'for exposing the Gaza terror tunnel' at a weekly cabinet meeting this morning. AFP PHOTO / DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli soldier stands at the entrance of a tunnel allegedly dug by Palestinians beneath the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel and recently uncovered by Israeli troops, on October 13, 2013. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the army 'for exposing the Gaza terror tunnel' at a weekly cabinet meeting this morning. AFP PHOTO / DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Smugglers carry food from Kentucky Fried Chicken to be delivered through an underground tunnel linking the Gaza Strip to Egypt, on May 13, 2013 in Rafah. Fast food is just the latest trend for smugglers seeking to turn a buck by bringing in hard-to-get products to the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007. It's not exactly 'fast' -- taking several hours to arrive, with the Palestinian delivery company behind it charging hefty prices to cover the cost of fuel and transport. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
A smuggler carries bags of food from Kentucky Fried Chicken to be delivered through an underground tunnel linking the Gaza Strip to Egypt, on May 13, 2013 in Rafah. Fast food is just the latest trend for smugglers seeking to turn a buck by bringing in hard-to-get products to the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007. It's not exactly 'fast' -- taking several hours to arrive, with the Palestinian delivery company behind it charging hefty prices to cover the cost of fuel and transport. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
A smuggler carries food from Kentucky Fried Chicken to be delivered through an underground tunnel linking the Gaza Strip to Egypt, on May 13, 2013 in Rafah. Fast food is just the latest trend for smugglers seeking to turn a buck by bringing in hard-to-get products to the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007. It's not exactly 'fast' -- taking several hours to arrive, with the Palestinian delivery company behind it charging hefty prices to cover the cost of fuel and transport. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
A smuggler carries food from Kentucky Fried Chicken to be delivered through an underground tunnel linking the Gaza Strip to Egypt, on May 13, 2013 in Rafah. Fast food is just the latest trend for smugglers seeking to turn a buck by bringing in hard-to-get products to the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007. It's not exactly 'fast' -- taking several hours to arrive, with the Palestinian delivery company behind it charging hefty prices to cover the cost of fuel and transport. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian men work in a tunnel which links the southern Gaza Strip border town of Rafah with Egypt and which is used to smuggle sacks of cement on July 26, 2010. Israel moved to ease the closures of the Gaza Strip last month and now allows in all purely civilian goods, but the lack of virtually any export capability has hindered economic recovery in the impoverished territory of 1.5 million people. Prior to the easing of the blockade some 40 percent of Gazans were unemployed and 80 percent relied on foreign aid, numbers that are not believed to have significantly declined in recent weeks. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian man adjusts a light in a smuggling tunnel which links the southern Gaza Strip border town of Rafah with Egypt and which is used to smuggle sacks of cement on July 26, 2010. Israel moved to ease the closures of the Gaza Strip last month and now allows in all purely civilian goods, but the lack of virtually any export capability has hindered economic recovery in the impoverished territory of 1.5 million people. Prior to the easing of the blockade some 40 percent of Gazans were unemployed and 80 percent relied on foreign aid, numbers that are not believed to have significantly declined in recent weeks. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 file photo, Israeli soldiers walk through a tunnel discovered near the Israel Gaza border. They’ve been dubbed “lower Gaza,” compared to the Underground, the Metro or the subway and depicted as a bone-chilling, strategic threat to Israel. Hamas’ web of tunnels is taking center stage in the relentless conflict between the militant group and Israel, with Israel’s ground offensive placing their destruction as a key objective. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)
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By IBRAHIM BARZAK and IAN DEITCH

Israeli bulldozers demolished more than a dozen tunnels Saturday in the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian authorities reported intensified airstrikes and shelling as the death toll from Israel's ground offensive rose to at least 342 Palestinians. Diplomats struggled to revive a cease-fire.

Israeli soldiers uncovered 34 shafts leading into about a dozen underground tunnels, some as deep as 30 meters (yards), that could be used to carry out attacks, the military said. *IDF TWEETED BELOW UPDATE MONDAY.

Still, Palestinian gunmen disguised in Israeli uniforms managed to infiltrate Israel from Gaza using another tunnel and on Saturday killed two Israeli soldiers and injured several others, the military said. At least one Palestinian was killed in the clash.

Hamas said 12 of its fighters participated in the attack and that the group took some of the soldiers' weapons back to their hideouts.

In two other confrontations, Palestinian gunmen jumped out of tunnels and shot at soldiers who returned fire. Two of the gunmen were killed. Another militant died when the explosive vest he was wearing went off, the military said.

In one instance, the militants were found with tranquilizers and handcuffs, indicating they "intended to abduct Israelis," according to the military.

It was the second day that Palestinians used their network of underground tunnels to penetrate Israel in the current round of fighting. Israel embarked on its ground offensive in part to seek and destroy the tunnels on Thursday, the same day 13 heavily armed Palestinians sneaked through a tunnel from Gaza and emerged inside Israel near a southern community. The militants were killed by an airstrike after they popped out of the tunnel.

Shimon Daniel, a retired brigadier general and former head of the Israeli military's engineer corps, said the military knew that Hamas had a large number of tunnels designed to assault Israel.

"I think finding 13 tunnels in such a short time is a great achievement," he told Channel 10 TV.

He said demolishing the tunnels is dangerous. Troops must assume the passages are booby trapped. Soldiers first close off the area and check for additional openings. Then robots go inside to look around, he said.

After that, the tunnels are destroyed either by special explosives or by heavy equipment. He said it can take up to 12 hours to destroy each tunnel.

"These tunnels aren't for hiding. They are intended for large attacks in Israeli communities and army bases," chief military spokesman Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz said.

Footage released by the Israeli military showed tunnels being demolished by army excavators and other equipment on the ground and by airstrikes from above.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Kidra said the new round of airstrikes raised the death toll from the 12-day offensive to at least 342 Palestinians, many of them civilians.

In Israel, a Gaza rocket killed a man near the southern city of Dimona and wounded four people, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, marking the second Israeli civilian casualty from the fighting. An Israeli soldier was killed after the start of the ground operation, probably from friendly fire.

Casualties could mount quickly if the military moves deeper into urban areas.

Some 50,000 Palestinians are already staying in United Nations shelters, according to UNRWA, the U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians.

Early Saturday, Israeli tank fire killed at least five members of the Al Zawaydi family at their home in Beit Lahiya, including two children. In a separate incident, tank shell fire killed three members of the Hamooda family in their home, among them two children.

In Gaza City, two boys and a 12-month-old infant neighbor were killed Friday evening following the break of the Ramadan fast. On Saturday, at least two of the bodies were carried by somber relatives during a funeral procession in Gaza City.

Israel says it is going to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties and blames them on Hamas, accusing it of firing from within residential neighborhoods and using civilians as "human shields."

The military said it has hit more than 2,500 targets in Gaza, including 1,100 rocket launchers, during the 12 days of fighting. It said that some 70 militants were killed and another 13 brought to Israel for questioning.

Gaza militants have fired more than 1,760 rockets at Israeli cities since July 8, the military said.

The military said also it had received intelligence reports that Palestinians had strapped explosives to animals and intended to send them toward soldiers. A donkey laden with explosives approached soldiers later on and blew up causing no injuries, it said.

An Egyptian truce proposal was rejected by Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007 and has demanded the lifting of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade as part of any cease-fire agreement.

Israel's ground attack came after it became increasingly exasperated with rocket fire from Gaza, especially after Hamas rejected an Egyptian cease-fire plan earlier in the week.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri on Saturday repeated a call for the two sides to adopt the cease-fire, saying it is the only offer on the table, despite efforts from Hamas backers Turkey and Qatar to broker a deal.

"It meets the needs of both sides," he said. "We will continue to propose it. We hope both sides accept it."

In a fresh effort to broker a truce, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon was to leave Saturday for the Middle East to help mediate the Gaza conflict.

Israeli officials have said the offensive could last up to two weeks or possibly longer.

Also Saturday, Egypt opened its border crossing with Gaza, admitting wounded to Egyptian hospitals and allowing aid and doctors back in.

Hamas has survived Israeli offensives in the past, including a major three-week ground operation in January 2009 and another weeklong air offensive in 2012. It now controls an arsenal of thousands of rockets, including long-range projectiles, and has built a system of underground bunkers.

But Hamas is weaker than it was during the previous two offensives, with little international or even regional support from its main allies, Turkey and Qatar.

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