The Israeli military says it has destroyed a Gaza tunnel built by the Hamas militant group.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus says Sunday the new tunnel was intended to connect to an old tunnel that Israel partially destroyed. He says Israel has been following Hamas' progress for some time and has rendered the whole network unusable.

Conricus called the tunnel construction a "futile effort" by the Islamic militants and a waste of resources that could benefit Gaza residents.

Israel has placed a high priority on halting the tunnel threat since Hamas infiltrated Israel during the 2014 war. It marks the fourth such tunnel Israel has destroyed over the past four months.

The operation followed Israeli airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza over the weekend after explosions along the border.