Israel holds remains of five missing Gaza militants killed in tunnel blast

Li Jiayao

JERUSALEM, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Israel's military said Sunday that it holds the remains of five Gaza militants who were declared missing after Israel blew up a cross-border tunnel last week.

The Spokesperson Unit of the Israel Defense Forces announced that the bodies were found during works to uncover and demolish the remains of the tunnel that was bombed on Monday, claiming the lives of 12 Islamic Jihad fighters.

Five of the casualties were declared missing after Hamas said they could not be found in searches conducted on the Gazan side of the tunnel.

Israel denied a request by the International Committee of the Red Cross to allow a search for the casualties inside the tunnel.

"During the past few days, the Southern Command and Gaza Division have been operating to finalize the uncovering and destruction of the terror tunnel that was targeted on October 30, 2017, in Israeli territory," the military said in a statement.

"During the ongoing work in the area the bodies of five terrorists were uncovered," the statement read.

The Islamic Jihad responded the statement by warning that the Gaza-based group will act to retrieve the bodies.

"The bodies of the five martyrs will not remain for long in Israel's hands. We know how to recover the bodies of our people," the group said in a statement.


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