Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts
GAZA, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Israeli F16 warplanes struck at midnight by missiles the borderline area between the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah and Egypt, aiming at destroyed underground tunnels used for smuggling, witnesses said Saturday.
They said that five successive airstrikes were carried out by Israeli war fighters, causing huge explosions in the town, adding that some underground tunnels were destroyed and some were damaged.
The town of some 80,000 residents and its refugee camp were in a big fear, mainly those are living closed to the borderline area between the town and Egypt. No injuries were reported.
Part of the 22-day Israeli military assault on the Gaza Strip, which ended on Jan. 18, was to destroy hundreds of tunnels dug under the borderline to smuggle good.
Smugglers in Rafah said they dug tunnels to bring goods from Egypt and to defy an Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip for two years. Israel says these tunnels are used by Islamic Hamas movement to smuggle weapons.
However, smugglers said their tunnels are used for smuggling goods and all other kinds of products that Israel doesn't allow into through Gaza Strip border crossings with Israel.
Residents in Rafah said in spite of the ongoing Israeli airstrikes on the tunnels area, smugglers are still bringing goods and pump fuels for cars and engines through these tunnels from Egypt into Gaza.