Israeli Colonel Tomer was literally tipped off to the tunnel snaking under a Palestinian village when the tank-churned earth gave way to the weight of one of his behemoth bulldozers’ treads.

Twenty-four hours later, on Wednesday, his forces had cleared a greenhouse that had provided cover and dug a three-metre-deep (10 foot) crater exposing the concrete-reinforced passage wide enough for a man in battle gear to squeeze through.

It would take several days, the officer told Reuters at the scene – the exact location could not be reported under military rules – to map out the half-dozen suspected access shafts to the tunnel, one of which, he said, was concealed by a nearby home. […]