The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) showed off the newly discovered Hamas tunnel. Hamas has always had a reputation for having the best underground tunnels of any militia, but this tunnel was different because it was heavily fortified and one of the largest Israel had discovered in the midst of the Gaza war.
The entrance was inside Gaza, just a few hundred meters from the Erez border crossing with Israel, where there was a gaping hole in the sand. Inside the tunnel, there was plenty of room for the reinforced concrete structure: a steel pipe ran across the top and electrical cables dangled inside, Sky News reported.
The Israeli military said the tunnel extended more than 300 kilometers to the center of Gaza City. Hamas has been building its underground infrastructure for years and using it to transport fighters from Hamas and other militant groups, Israel has claimed. The tunnels are also used to “move and store weapons, launch attacks against Israel and, in this war, to hold hostages,” the report states.
These tunnels are destroyed and rebuilt again and again after wars with Israel, but their extent is difficult to understand.
“There was no light inside. The IDF had placed a metal grate on the ground to cover the holes in the ground that went down 15 meters to other parts of the underground complex. An IDF spokesperson said the level of sophistication and engineering used to build and maintain these tunnels was impressive. states the report.
Hamas also promoted its tunnel network on its official television news channel, the statement added.
“Hamas has perfected tunnel construction over the past 20 years. “Members of the group and smuggling barons built them under Egypt’s southern border after Israel imposed its siege on Gaza in 2006,” it was reported.
This comes as the IDF continues to identify the tunnels and destroy the network without killing any hostages in the process. Gaza’s civilian infrastructure above ground was also destroyed under Israeli bombardment. The United Nations said 45% of the territory’s housing stock has been decimated while Gaza’s health ministry said more than 21,000 Palestinians have been killed so far.
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