Inside Hamas’ 300km heavily fortified Gaza tunnel with no lights

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Israel Defence Forces (IDF) showed Hamas’ tunnel that was recently discovered. Hamas has always had a reputation for the best underground tunnels of any militia but this tunnel was different as it was heavily fortified and one of the largest that Israel has found amid Gaza war.

Israel-Hamas War: Israeli soldiers visit a tunnel that Hamas reportedly used to attack Israel through the Erez border crossing on October 7.(AFP)
Israel-Hamas War: Israeli soldiers visit a tunnel that Hamas reportedly used to attack Israel through the Erez border crossing on October 7.(AFP)

The entrance was inside Gaza, only a few hundred metres 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 along the top of it as well as electricity cables dangled inside, Sky News reported.

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The IDF said the tunnel ran for more than 300 kilometres into central Gaza City. Hamas has been building its underground infrastructure for years and uses them to transport fighters from Hamas and other militant groups, Israel has claimed. Tunnels are also used to “move and store weapons, launch attacks against Israel and, in this war, to hold hostages”, the report claimed.

These tunnels are destroyed and rebuilt again and again after wars with Israel but the extend of these tunnels is difficult to fathom.

“There were no lights inside. The IDF had placed a metal grid on the floor to cover holes in the ground that dropped by up to 15 metres, down to other parts of the subterranean complex. One IDF spokesman said that the degree of sophistication and engineering used to build and maintain these tunnels was impressive.” the report claimed.

Hamas has also promoted its network of tunnels on its official television news station, it added.

“Hamas has been perfecting its tunnel-building over the last 20 years. Members of the group and smuggling barons constructed them under the southern Egyptian border after Israel imposed its siege on Gaza in 2006,” it was reported.

This comes as IDF continues to identify the tunnels and destroy the network without killing hostages in the process. Gaza’s civilian infrastructure above ground has been destroyed as well amid Israel’s bombardment. The United Nations said that 45% of the territory’s housing stock has been decimated while Gaza’s health ministry said that more than 21,000 Palestinians have been killed so far.

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