Israel discovered Hamas tunnel under Gaza Strip’s main highway

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) discovered a tunnel belonging to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas under the main north-south highway of the Gaza Stripthis time near the Nuseirat refugee camp.

Troops from the 646th Reserve Parachute Brigade, the elite Yahalom combat engineering unit and other combat engineers found and destroyed what the IDF says is a “strategic” tunnel of Hamas, located under the Salah a-Din road.

This tunnel, hundreds of meters long and approximately nine meters deep, crosses the Wadi Gaza, also known as the Besor stream, according to the IDF.

According to the IDF, this tunnel was used by members of the terrorist group to travel between the north and south of Gaza clandestinely. Following its destruction under the Salah a-Din road, the IDF announced the opening of a new alternative route in the area.

Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip discovered by Israeli forces (Photo: EuropaPress) (ISRAEL ARMED FORCES/)

Hamas has used more than 6,000 tons of concrete and 1,800 tons of steel to build the extensive network of underground tunnels in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Army reported on Thursday.

The Army referred to new intelligence information collected during its military offensive inside the Strip, analyzed and verified, on the investment that the group needed for its tunnel network, which amounts to tens of millions of dollars.

“The terrorist organization Hamas decided to invest these precious resources in the construction of a terrorist infrastructure used to harm Israeli citizens and Israeli forces, while cynically exploiting the civilian population in the Gaza Strip”said a military statement.

As part of its strategy to dismantle Hamas, Israel has as one of its priorities destroying the network of tunnels, where it also believes the group’s leadership and some of the 136 hostages who remain within the enclave are hiding.

“Instead of investing in civil infrastructure and development to benefit the residents of the Gaza Strip, Hamas used large amounts of money and resources over many years to build a vast network of underground tunnels used for its deadly terrorist activity,” he added.

Israeli soldiers, in the midst of the current conflict between Israel and the Hamas group, in Beit Lahiya, Gaza on December 25, 2023 (REUTERS)
Israeli soldiers, in the midst of the current conflict between Israel and the Hamas group, in Beit Lahiya, Gaza on December 25, 2023 (REUTERS) (ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES/)

Furthermore, the Israeli Army reported this Tuesday that in the last few hours it destroyed 100 Hamas rocket launchers in Beit Lahia, northern Strip, where last night the Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, announced that the intensive phase of the fighting had concluded.

“During Israel Defense Forces activity in the Beit Lahia area, troops located approximately 100 rocket installations and 60 ready-to-use rockets,” a military statement said.

The Army indicated that in that operation it killed “dozens” of Hamas militiamen, whom it identified as “terrorists.” “In a coordinated operation between ground and air troops around the Shati refugee camp – also in the north – they directed planes and a helicopter to attack nine terrorist agents,” the Army added.

Gallant announced yesterday that the “intensive phase” of the war had concluded in the northern Gaza Stripwhere from now on the troops would focus on specific operations to destroy Hamas installations or against localized targets.

He also promised that “soon” the war would also decrease in intensity in Khan Younis, in the south of the enclave, where much of the fighting is now concentrated with the priority of finding the Hamas leadership, Yahya Sinwar and Mohamed Deif, who are believed to be hiding in the underground tunnels of that city.

In the Hamas attack on October 7 against Israeli territory, a triggering factor for the current war, more than 1,200 people died and some 250 were taken hostage.

(With information from EFE)