Israel’s military chief says its number one mission is to counter the threat posed by attack tunnels from Gaza.

Lt Gen Gadi Eisenkot said that Gaza’s Hamas rulers have been rebuilding the sophisticated network of underground tunnels that Israel damaged during the 2014 war.

Lt Gen Eisenkot said destroying this network is the military’s top priority for 2016, adding that it is ‘not deceived’ by the relative quiet along the Israel-Gaza border.

Israeli troops destroyed more than 30 tunnels during the war that Hamas built to infiltrateIsrael and carry out attacks.

Hamas has since boasted it has rebuilt its network. Israelis living near the border have reported hearing tunneling sounds under their homes recently.

Hamas said that at least 12 of its men died the past month in tunnel collapse accidents.