Soldiers uncover Hamas tunnels shaft in a Gaza mosque

Ground forces operating in the Gaza Strip have discovered infrastructure inside a mosque.

Israeli forces make eerie terrorist tunnels discovery inside Gaza mosque

This photo released by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit on November 14, 2023, shows a tunnel shaft uncovered by troops operating in the Gaza region
This photo released by the IDF spokespersons unit on November 14, 2023, shows a tunnel shaft uncovered by troops operating in Gaza Strip.
A mosque inside the Gaza Strip was found by Israeli forces operating on the ground

IDF troops from the Harel Reserve Brigade's reconnaissance unit and the Givati Brigade's reserve reconnaissance unit discovered a Hamas tunnel shaft inside the mosque 

The IDF soldiers directed fighter jet and combat helicopters to strike anti tank missile squads that fired at them overnight.

The IAF has struck some 200 targets over past day the military says, including terror operatives, weapon production sites 

The Navy has also carried out strikes, hitting a Hamas naval forces camp on the coast, which the IDF says was used for training and as a weapons depot.

Israel targets Hamas’s labyrinth of tunnels under Gaza

Israel says it is striking parts of a secret labyrinth of tunnels built underneath the Gaza Strip by Hamas, as it continues to retaliate for the Palestinian Islamist militant group’s unprecedented cross border attack on Saturday.
The leader of Hamas in Gaza has previously claimed that it has 500km of tunnels

“Think of the Gaza Strip as one layer for civilians and then another layer for Hamas. We are trying to get to that second layer that Hamas has built, “an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson said in a video on Thursday.

“These aren’t bunkers for Gazan civilians. It’s only for Hamas and other territorists so that they can continue to fire rockets Israel, to plan operations, to launch terrorists into Israel, “they claimed.

The Gaza metro, as Israel calls it, is difficult to estimate because it is believed to stretch beneath a territory that is only 41km (25 miles) long and 10km wide.

Following a conflict in 2021, the IDF said had destroyed more than 100km of tunnels in air strikes. Hamas meanwhile claimed that it tunnels stretched 500km and that only 5% were hit. Putting those figures in perspective, the London Underground runs for 400km above ground.

Hamas’s ‘Gaza Metro’ tunnel system in 2021

Israeli map showing tunnels allegedly destroyed in air strikes

Israel map show tunnels

Tunnels construction began in Gaza before Israel withdrew its troops and settlers in 2005

Two years later, Hamas took control of the strip, which led Israel and Egypt to begin restricting the movement of goods and people in and out based on security concerns.

At its peak, almost 2,500 tunnels running underneath the Egyptian border were used to smuggle in commercial goods, fuel and weapons by Hamas and other militant groups.

In 2010, Israel opened its borders crossing to more goods, decreasing the importance of smuggling in Gaza. The tunnels were later flooded or destroyed by Egypt, thereby ending smuggling.
Tunnels were dug under the Egyptian border to bring in all kinds of goods and weapons 

Hamas and other factions also started digging tunnels to attack Israeli forces.

Among the weapons militants used in 2006 was one underneath the border with Israel, which they use to kill two Israeli soldiers and to take Gilad Shalit, whom they held captive for five years. 

In 2013, the IDF discovered a 1.6km-long, 18m- deep tunnel lined with a concrete roof and walls leading from the Strip to land near an Israeli kibbutz after residents heard strange sounds.

The following year, Israel cited the need to eradicate the threat of attacks by militants using such “terror tunnels” under the frontier for a major air and ground offensive in Gaza. 

The IDF said its forces destroyed more than 30 tunnels during the war. But a group of militants were also to use one to mount an attack in which four Israeli soldiers were killed.

Gaza tunnels identified by Israel in 2014

Israeli military destroyed more than 30 tunnels out of Gaza

Tunnels shafts
“The cross-border tunnels tend to be rudimentary, meaning they have barely any fortification. They are dug for a one- time purpose - invading Israeli territory,” says Dr Daphne Richemond-Barak, an expert on underground warfare who teaches at Reichman University in Israel.

“The tunnels inside Gaza are different because Hamas is using them on a regular basis. They are probably more comfortable to be in for longer periods of time. They are definitely equipped for a longer, sustained presence.”

“The leaders are hiding there, they have command-and-control centres, they use them for transport and lines of communication. They are equipped with electricity, lighting and rail tracks. You can move around more and stand.

She says Hamas appears to have “perfected the art” of tunnels building and warfare in recent years, having learned a huge amount by observing the tactics of Syrian rebel fighters in Aleppo and jihadist militants from the Islamic State (IS) group in Mosul.

The tunnels inside Gaza are believed to be as much as 30m (100ft) below the surface and have entrances located on the bottom floors of houses, mosques, schools and other public buildings to allow militants to evade detection.

Building the network has also come at a cost to the local population. The IDF has accused Hamas of diverting millions of dollars given to Gaza in aid to pay for the tunnels as well as tens of thousands of tons of cement intended for rebuilding homes destroyed in previous wars.

It is possible that a cross border tunnel was used by Hamas militants during last weekend's attacks in Israel, in which at least 1,300 people were killed, most of the civilians, and more than 150 others were taken as hostages. There were reports that a tunnel exit was discovered near the kibbutz of Kfar Aza, where dozens of civilians were massacred. 

If that is confirmed, the tunnel would have been built beneath the underground concrete barrier studded with sophisticated anti-tunnel detection sensors which Israel finished installing at the of 2021.

Dr Richeman-Barak says it would be a shock, but stresses that no tunnel detection system is foolproof. “This is why tunnels have been for time immemorial in war, because is there no way to prevent them.

Israel’s border fence with Gaza

She also cautions that it is unrealistic for the Israeli establishment and general public to believe it will be possible for the IDF to destroy Hamas’s entire network of tunnels in Gaza, as hundreds of thousands of troops mass nearby for a possible ground operation.
Israel border fence with Gaza

“There will be parts of the network where civilians, for whatever reasons, will no evacuate…. Some parts of the underground network are unknown. And for some of them the collateral damage will be too high.

Destroying the tunnels will also lead to a significant loos of life - among Israeli forces on the ground, Palestinian civilians and the hostages, she be too high.”

More than 1,500 Palestinians in Gaza, many of them civilians, have already been killed in retaliatory Israeli air strikes since Saturday.

“Hamas is very good at using human shields. Once a strike is imminent and they know it, they will put innocent civilians on top of buildings. That has forced Israel to cancel strikes many times,” Dr Richemond-Barak says.

“Having mastered the technique, Hamas could easily use it in the context of the tunnels and simply put Israeli, American and other hostages inside them.”

During the 2021 conflict, a series of devastating air strikes in Gaza City brought three residential buildings crashing to the ground, killing 42 people. The IDF said it targeted underground tunnels, but that when they collapsed the building’s foundations collapsed too.

Post a Comment

Cookie Consent
We serve cookies on this site to analyze traffic, remember your preferences, and optimize your experience.
It seems there is something wrong with your internet connection. Please connect to the internet and start browsing again.
AdBlock Detected!
We have detected that you are using adblocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website, we request you to whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.
Site is Blocked
Sorry! This site is not available in your country.