Four kilometers long: Israel discovers largest Hamas tunnel discovered so far

The tunnel is located near the Erez Pass, in the north of the Gaza Strip, next to the border fence that separates the enclave from Israeli territory, and due to its width, it would even have the capacity to allow passage of vehicles.

The Israeli armed forces revealed this Sunday a tunnel dug by Hamas, the largest located so far, which measures 4 kilometers long and reaches 50 meters deep in places.

The tunnel is located near the Erez Pass, in the north of the Gaza Strip, next to the border fence that separates the enclave from Israeli territory, and due to its width, it would even have the capacity to allow passage of vehicles. It was also used to transport weapons.

The “attack tunnel”, however, does not reach Israeli territory. One of the entrances is located approximately 400 meters from the Erez crossing, which was used to control the passage of Palestinians into Israeli territory mainly for work.

Erez has been closed since October 7, when Hamas militants stormed into Israeli territory and killed around 1,200 people, triggering the current Israeli military retaliatory offensive that has already claimed more than 19,000 lives, for most civilians.

Soldiers pass through what the Israeli military says is an iron tunnel designed by Hamas to unload train cars full of Palestinian fighters in preparation for a surprise border assault. Photo: Reuters

The tunnel has several branches and junctions, water pipes, power and communications lines, and armored doors designed to prevent entry by Israeli forces.

“Its width suggests that they wanted to use it for vehicle raids against civilians in communities near the border with Gaza,” explained a military spokesperson, Haim Cohen, quoted by the newspaper The Times of Israel.

The Israeli armed forces also released images and videos showing the construction of the tunnel. Hamas members displaced from Khan Younis used specialized machines for their searches, according to the military statement.

The construction would be carried out by Mohamed Sinwar, commander of Hamas’ Southern Brigade and brother of Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar. The work used tunnel boring machines secretly smuggled into the Gaza Strip and would have a budget of several million dollars.

Soldiers operate near the opening of what the Israeli military says is an iron-reinforced tunnel designed by Hamas, near the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, December 15, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Israel had previously reported attacks launched by Hamas militias from underground tunnels as well as the deaths of several militants inside these facilities dug into the ground. Last week it was reported that 800 tunnel entrances had been discovered since the start of the ground offensive on the Gaza Strip and that 500 had already been destroyed.

Furthermore, seawater pumping was used “successfully” in the tunnel network to deactivate these installations and force the militiamen to the surface. Military spokesperson Daniel Hagari, asked about the risk of affecting the hostages, responded Thursday that these actions are being undertaken taking into account information from the intelligence services to avoid harming the 128 kidnapped people who remain hostages. Gaza strip.

Source: Latercera

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