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Israeli officials have ordered new investigations into reports of digging noises under an Israeli town near the West Bank this week.
Residents of Bat Hefer have reported hearing digging noises beneath their homes, which lies just across the border from the West Bank city of Tulkarem. Officials have conducted three previous checks and found no evidence of tunneling, but the city council has now ordered an additional two checks, according to the Times of Israel.
One Bat Hefer resident recorded the noises and played them on a public broadcast, according to Israeli media. Citizens across the country remain in a heightened state of tension as they fear another attack similar to Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre.
“We take the reports very seriously, and are working overtime to check the issue in a comprehensive and professional manner, using various methods. So far, three checks have been carried out and two more checks will be carried out in the coming days. So far, there have been no findings to indicate digging,” The Emek Hefer Regional Council told Israeli media.
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Israeli soldiers are seen on Friday, Dec. 15, in a tunnel that the military says Hamas terrorists used to attack the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, (AP/Ariel Schalit)
Residents of the town say they remain afraid as they see Hezbollah launching missiles and rockets across Israel’s northern border.
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“The situation is really not good,” resident Gadi Ohayon stated on Israeli radio. “We live in a constant state of insecurity, the settlement is targeted with direct and indirect fire almost every day. We can show you pictures of shells from our yards.”
A Palestinian fighter takes part in the funeral of men killed during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank, on December 8, 2023, in the village of al-Fara. Israeli forces shot dead six Palestinians on December 12, 2023, in a raid on a refugee camp in the north of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said. (ZAIN JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images)
“They are rocking us, just like they rocked the South and just like they rock the North. We are no less at risk. Maybe it won’t happen in a minute, but we can’t be surprised. Once they cross the fence of Bat Hefer and the nearby settlements, Kfar Saba, Raanana, Hadera, Netanya, and the entire line will come under fire, up to the sea,” he added.
The Israeli military is working to eradicate Hamas from the terrorist organization’s labyrinth of tunnels beneath Gaza. IDF troops began pumping seawater into the Hamas tunnel system on Dec. 14, but officials warned it would be a weeks-long process.
Israel has carried out nearly three months of bombings in Gaza. (AP/Adel Hana)
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Israel has identified about 800 tunnels beneath Gaza that Hamas has used to move fighters, store weapons and plan terror attacks on Israel. Israeli officials believe the tunnel network is much larger, however.
Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report
Anders Hagstrom is a reporter with Fox News Digital covering national politics and major breaking news events. Send tips to [email protected], or on Twitter: @Hagstrom_Anders.