Engineers of the Israeli army have launched a large-scale operation aimed at destroying Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported. So far, about 100 underground hideouts have been demolished.
According to reports from the Times of Israel and Walla, engineering troops use various types of robots and explosives to destroy tunnels.
A Southern Command officer told Walla that at the beginning of the conflict, Hamas terrorists “were able to harass Israeli soldiers and hit them with fire by shooting from the mouths of tunnels.” The engineering operation may have started after the occupation of areas in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
“They made a mistake”
The army is destroying the entrances to the underground corridors and the routes leading beyond them, which turns the tunnels into “death zones”.
– (Hamas terrorists – ed.) made a mistake because they chose a place from which they cannot escape. They will die in the tunnels – added the Walla portal interlocutor.
The army destroys the tunnels along with the Hamas terrorists hiding in them, and also causes the detonation of explosive traps installed by Hamas in underground hideouts.
According to Israeli media findings, about 100 tunnels have been destroyed so far, not counting those that were bombed during Israeli air raids.
General warns against “death trap”
General Yair Golan, former deputy commander of the Israeli Defense Forces, in an interview with the Times of Israel described the Hamas tunnels as a place that Israeli troops should under no circumstances enter. As he described, the task is to find the entrances to the tunnels and block them, or to release smoke underground, which will force the enemy to leave or cause damage.
– The Israeli army today has every opportunity to effectively deal with the tunnels. He has all the knowledge and resources needed. If Hamas remains in the tunnels, they will become a death trap, the general said.
Defense Forces Israel – as the American television CNN reported earlier – they colloquially call the tunnels built by Hamas over the last 15 years the “Gaza metro”. They create a vast labyrinth where rockets, weapons and ammunition are stored. They also provide Palestinian terrorists with the opportunity to move around the city undetected.
The Israeli army also claims that they house important Hamas command and control centers.
“Hamas claimed in 2021 that it had built 500 kilometers of tunnels under Gaza. However, it was unclear whether this figure was real or made up. If true, Hamas’ underground tunnels would be half as long as the New York subway system,” it reported. CNN.
“It’s a very complicated, very large, even huge network of tunnels in a rather small part of the territory,” said Daphne Richemond-Barak, an expert in underground warfare who teaches at Reichman University in Israel, quoted by CNN.
Times of Israel, PAP, CNN
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/MOHAMMED SABER