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New York Times report: Israel needs YEARS to dismantle Gaza tunnels
By Kevin Hughes // Jan 18, 2024

The Israeli military is reportedly being overwhelmed by the extent and sophistication of Hamas tunnel network underneath the Gaza Strip, and a New York Times report published on Tuesday, Jan. 16, suggests that it may take years for Israel to fully dismantle these underground networks.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) initially estimated the tunnel network to contain around 250 miles of underground passages and bunkers. The IDF has since amended these estimates, believing that the tunnels may now be 350 to 450 miles long – and possibly even more than that.

Two military officials who spoke on condition that they remain anonymous claimed that the IDF has found 5,700 separate shafts heading into the tunnels all over Gaza. These figures could not be independently verified due to Israel's tight grip on information coming out of Gaza.

The New York Times reported that the tunnels' vastness is "extraordinary" given that Gaza's longest point only stretches about 25 miles.

"Hamas has used the time and resources over the last 15 years to turn Gaza into a fortress," Aaron Greenstone, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who has worked widely in the Middle East, told the news outlet.

Below the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza alone, the IDF claims there are about 100 miles of tunnels. One 2022 document claims that Hamas allotted about $1 million just for tunnel doors and underground workshops in Khan Younis alone. The IDF has fully occupied the city and are presently concentrating their efforts here as they search the region for Hamas military leader, Yahya Sinwar.

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Hamas tunnels played a key role in Israel's ground offensive on the Gaza Strip

Hamas tunnels have played a pivotal role in the militant group's defense against Israel's ground offensive on the Gaza Strip. It is believed that there are still around 130 hostages left in Gaza, with almost all of them likely to be hidden away in Hamas tunnel network, if the group hasn't already squirrelled them away south across the border into Egypt.

Recent intelligence gathered from the computers of Hamas operatives who were involved in the digging of the tunnels that the IDF found during Israel's ongoing campaign in the region suggests that it is not a lot easier for the IDF to locate a branch of the tunnel network.

The information gathered also included a list of families that "hosted" tunnel shafts underneath their homes.

One Israeli official told the New York Times that it could take "years" to locate and disable the tunnels because of all the work that needs to be done once these sections of the tunnels are discovered.

"They need to be mapped, checked for Israeli captives and made irreparable," said the official, who admitted that the latest attempts to destroy the tunnels by flooding them with seawater "have failed." (Related: WAR CRIME: Israel considering FLOODING Hamas tunnel networks under Gaza with seawater, possibly drowning Israeli hostages in the process)

Another official stated that Israel is utilizing a "triangle" model to find the tunnels, which presumes they will be discovered under any hospital, school or mosque in Gaza.

The Israeli military has overlooked the "extent and importance" of the tunnels to Hamas, which the New York Times described as an "intelligence failure."

The IDF has not revealed the number of soldiers killed and wounded in tunnel warfare. Officially, nearly 200 IDF soldiers have been killed during the offensive, and 240 or so have been wounded.

One soldier interviewed by the New York Times reported participating in the demolishing of about 50 tunnel branches in Beit Hanoun in northeastern Gaza. All of them were filled with bombs and other explosives that were wired and ready to be triggered remotely.

Follow WWIII.news for more news about the ongoing war in Gaza.

Watch the video below about the Israel Defense Forces working to navigate and destroy Hamas tunnels in Gaza.

This video is from the NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.

More related articles:

Hezbollah’s tunnels in Lebanon more sophisticated than Hamas’ in Gaza, warns expert.

Hezbollah’s "initial" response to assassination of top-ranking Hamas leader involved striking Israeli intelligence base with more than 60 rockets.

Those hidden tunnels underneath al-Shifa hospital in Gaza where Israel says Hamas militants are hiding? Israel BUILT them in 1983.

Hamas’ sophisticated tunnel networks pose a significant challenge for Israel.

Israel held Gaza civilians in “torture camp,” new evidence shows.

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