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Qassam Brigades attacks Israeli anti-tunnel vehicle

July 31, 2014 12:17 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 1, 2014 2:01 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas-affiliated al-Qassam Brigades on Wednesday claimed responsibility for targeting an Israeli military engineering vehicle used to destroy tunnels in an attack in eastern Juhr al-Dik in the Gaza Strip.

The Brigades said in a statement that the group destroyed the vehicle and "everyone, everything around it" including military vehicles, officers and soldiers.

The group added that this attack, which used a kornet missile, was an "initial response" for the latest "Shujaiyya massacre," referring to Israel's shelling of a market Wednesday that killed 17 shoppers and injured 200.

The attack comes as Israel says it has shifted its focus in recent weeks from combating rocket attacks to destroying Hamas' tunnel network, which runs beneath the Gaza Strip and into Israel.

Israel says Hamas, which modeled the tunnels on Hezbollah's similar system in southern Lebanon, plans to use the tunnels to attack civilians, but Hamas has used them primarily to strike military targets and says they do not target civilians.

Palestinian militants have killed 56 soldiers since the ground assault began, in addition to two civilians. Israel, meanwhile, has killed nearly 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom are believed to be civilians.

Al-Qassam also claimed responsibility for hitting an armored personnel carrier with an explosive near al-Surani hill in al-Tuffah neighborhood in eastern Gaza City.

The Brigades said they targeted a group of military vehicles in central Gaza Strip with five 107-rockets in addition.

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