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Israel finds tunnel dug under its Gaza border

The Israeli military has discovered an underground tunnel dug out from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip into Israel, the army said Sunday, adding it believes militants had intended to use the tunnel to attack or kidnap Israelis, AP reports.

In response, the military froze the transfer of all construction materials to the Palestinian territory, the army said. There was no immediate comment from the militant group Hamas, which rules the coastal strip.

Hamas has dug tunnels into Israel in the past. In 2006, Hamas-allied militants sneaked into Israel through one such tunnel, kidnapped a soldier, Gilad Schalit, and held him hostage in Gaza for five years.

According to the Israeli military, the latest tunnel is 2.5 kilometers long and appears to have been recently dug and in use until its discovery last week.

A tunnel opening was found near a kibbutz along the Israel-Gaza border, and the military speculated that Hamas may have been planning an attack on a kindergarten there.

The military said it waited a week to publicize the discovery because a search for explosives was underway.

The army said an elite engineering corps was sent into the tunnel, but would not say whether explosives were found.

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