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NYT Report: IDF Estimates There are ‘Far More’ Terror Tunnels Under Gaza

NYT Report: IDF Estimates There are ‘Far More’ Terror Tunnels Under Gaza

The New York Times: “One tunnel in Gaza was wide enough for a top Hamas official to drive a car inside. Another stretched nearly three football fields long and was hidden beneath a hospital.”

As the Israel Defense Forces successfully dismantles Hamas in northern Gaza and shifts the focus to central and southern parts of the terrorist-infested enclave, new and surprising details about the terrorist group’s underground tunnel network are coming to light.

The Israeli and U.S. military experts, who studied the details of Hamas’s newly uncovered tunnel system, have been “astonished” by the size, depth, and sophistication of the vast subterranean terror infostructure built underneath Gaza, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

“One tunnel in Gaza was wide enough for a top Hamas official to drive a car inside. Another stretched nearly three football fields long and was hidden beneath a hospital,” the NYT noted. “Under the house of a senior Hamas commander, the Israeli military found a spiral staircase leading to a tunnel approximately seven stories deep.”

The complete destruction of Hamas’s underground terror complex is a top priority for the Israeli military planners as the Gaza ground operation entered its eleventh week. “Every strategic goal of Israel in Gaza is now linked to wiping out the tunnels,” the newspaper explained.

The NYT reported:

These details and new information about the tunnels, some made public by the Israeli military and documented by video and photographs, underscore why the tunnels were considered a major threat to the Israeli military in Gaza even before the war started.

But Israeli officials and soldiers who have since been in the tunnels — as well as current and former American officials with experience in the region — say the scope, depth and quality of the tunnels built by Hamas have astonished them. Even some of the machinery that Hamas used to build the tunnels, observed in captured videos, has surprised the Israeli military.

The Israeli military now believes there are far more tunnels under Gaza.

In December, the network was assessed to be an estimated 250 miles. Senior Israeli defense officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, are currently estimating the network is between 350 and 450 miles — extraordinary figures for a territory that at its longest point is only 25 miles. Two of the officials also assessed there are close to 5,700 separate shafts leading down to the tunnels.

According to the report, every single civilian and humanitarian facility in Gaza, such as schools, hospitals, and mosques, doubles as an opening for Hamas terror tunnel shafts:

Hamas has improved its ability to conceal the tunnels, but the senior official said the Israeli military had figured out one of the group’s operating models. The official called it the “triangle.” Whenever the Israeli military finds a school, a hospital or a mosque, soldiers know they can expect to locate an underground tunnel system beneath them, the official said.

The NYT report comes days after the IDF uncovered a vast terror tunnel network in southern Gaza used by Hamas terrorists to hold Israeli hostages. According to the British newspaper Daily Mail, the “IDF special forces uncover[ed] … tunnel with suspected hostage blood inside.” The tunnel was “used by the terror organization to hold hostages under the city of Khan Yunis,” the military confirmed.

Besides confining Israeli hostages, the tunnels are used to hide terrorist fighters, hoard weaponry, and conduct sneak attacks against Israeli troops operating in Gaza. Hamas’s Gaza chief, Yahya Sinwar, and others responsible for the October 7 massacre are also believed to be hiding in Gaza’s tunnel system, estimated to be over 300 miles long.

Hamas fires rocket from Gaza hospital

The Hamas terrorists continue to take cover behind hospitals as they carry out attacks on Israeli ground troops. Terrorists on Tuesday fired a rocket from inside a hospital located in Khan Younis, a Hamas stronghold in southern Gaza.

In northern Gaza, Hamas used Shifa Hospital as a terrorist command and control center before IDF cleared it out in mid-November. Other Gaza hospitals have also been used to hoard explosives and shelter Hamas’s terrorist leadership.

The Times of Israel reported Tuesday:

Hamas launched a rocket from Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis at Israeli troops operating in the Gaza Strip earlier this week, the IDF says.

The IDF says that it investigated a rocket fired at troops in the northern part of Khan Younis this week, and the military’s systems revealed that it was launched from Nasser Hospital.

“Hamas operates systematically in the hospitals in the Gaza Strip and in the areas adjacent to them, using the civilian population as a human shield and exploiting the hospital infrastructure,” the IDF says in a statement.

After renewed terror attacks, IDF hits Hezbollah targets ‘deep’ in Lebanon

In response to Hezbollah’s intensified cross-border terror attacks, the IDF on Tuesday carried out strikes deep inside terrorist-controlled southern Lebanon.

Over the weekend, a Hamas death squad unsuccessfully tried to enter northern Israel from Hezbollah-held territory. Hezbollah also fired rockets into Israel, killing a 48-year-old son and his 76-year-old mother.

The Israeli TV channel i24NEWS reported the IDF response:

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Tuesday reported a combined attack with the use of fighter planes and artillery in the Wadi Saluki area in southern Lebanon, deeper into its territory than usual.

The Israeli military claims to have attacked dozens of military buildings and infrastructure objects belonging to the terrorist organization Hezbollah.

Hezbollah extensively relies on the Saluki area for terrorist purposes, noted the IDF statement. The group is said to have hidden its infrastructure in the forested area.

The IDF Major General Ori Gordin, head of the Northern Command, earlier on Tuesday, declared a high state of readiness amid escalating attacks on the border with Lebanon. “We are more ready for this than we have ever been, for tonight if we have to.”


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Just whose funds were used to build this extensive tunnel system? Spoiler alert: “Humanitarian Aid”.


Then Israel probably needs to do what many suggested in the beginning: drop MOABs until the entire place caves in. And by “entire place” I mean all of Gaza – from the border fence to the sea, make it tunnel free.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to GWB. | January 16, 2024 at 3:29 pm

    “The complete destruction of Hamas’s underground terror complex”

    Will destruction of these tunnels cause buildings to settle or collapse? Not that that is a bad thing.

Never a good earthquake or volcano when/where you need one.

Yeah, the IDF could do an artificial one with a subsurface nuke but that might raise some eyebrows.

How is it no one in the media is asking how much better off Palestinians lives COULD have been had Hamas invested those tens of billions of dollars in foreign aid in improving the lives of the people that are under their care instead of investing all that money in trying to kill Jews.

    Like building decent buildings with all that concrete, instead of tunnels to carry out the destruction of Israel?
    But the destruction of Israel is what the Gazans wanted. Investing in making their lives more comfortable and better off wouldn’t have satisfied them.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to mailman. | January 16, 2024 at 3:46 pm

    Even worse is that if Pales had made peace they could have prospered riding Israel’s coattails. And if they had not had so many children solely to outnumber Jews, their children could have prospered. This is in my opinion the most damning thing about Pales.

Subotai Bahadur | January 16, 2024 at 6:46 pm

Leaving aside references to the old movie Caddy Shack; is this not why G-d invented Fuel Air Explosives [FAE]?

Subotai Bahadur

George_Kaplan | January 16, 2024 at 8:42 pm

Maybe someone should compare how much Hamas has invested in their terrorist tunnels vis-a-vis the roads for people to actually use? Tunnels are far harder and more resource intensive to build so obviously their total length probably won’t be greater than the total length of road constructed but the comparison should be revealing.