The Israeli army dismissed a newspaper report Friday claiming its soldiers uncovered two tunnels underneath the separation wall used by Palestinians to infiltrate Israel.
Hebrew-language daily Maariv reported that two tunnels were found under the wall near al-Tayba village in the northern West Bank. Soldiers found two Palestinians trying to enter Israel, the report said.
But Israel’s army called the story “inaccurate and misleading” and said the supposed tunnels actually belonged to water infrastructure, and the incidents described by the newspaper were over a year old.
“The story reported in Maariv is both inaccurate and misleading,” the army said in an emailed statement.
“Attempts to utilize existing submerged water infrastructure, not build tunnels, to infiltrate Israel are not a new and recent phenomena. The last recorded attempts were individual instances and were thwarted approximately a year and a half ago by security personnel.”
It added that the wall “continues to serve as an important component in the defensive infrastructure preventing terrorist access and attacks against Israel and its civilians. ”
In the Gaza Strip, a tunnel network runs under the border with Egypt to smuggle goods into the blockaded enclave.
Hamas and other groups used a tunnel in 2006 to abduct an Israeli soldier.