(MENAFN) Hamas, the Islamic movement in control of Gaza, has reportedly developed a vast and intricate network of tunnels stretching over 500 kilometers (310 miles). This covert infrastructure includes command centers, training facilities, bunkers, meeting rooms, and is equipped with a sophisticated ventilation system, along with a reliable water and electricity supply.
The revelation of this extensive tunnel system comes amid Israel's ongoing Swords of Iron operation, initiated more than 50 days ago with the aim of eliminating Hamas. The operation was launched in response to a deadly attack by the group on southern Israeli communities, resulting in the loss of over 1,400 lives and injuries to thousands.
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have made significant advancements in capturing key locations in Gaza, such as the parliament, court, police headquarters, and even the largest hospital in Gaza City, Shifaa. The IDF suspects that Shifaa houses an elaborate tunnel system with gathering rooms and bunkers, potentially used to hold hostages.
However, Shifaa is just one piece of a larger puzzle, according to Israeli intelligence. Reports suggest that Gaza City is interlaced with approximately 1,300 tunnels, collectively spanning a length of 500 kilometers—surpassing the total length of London's metro system by a hundred kilometers. Situated 75 meters (246 feet) beneath the surface, this clandestine network allegedly accommodates ammunition caches, command and control centers, training grounds, meeting rooms, and boasts its own ventilation, water, and electricity supply.
The revelation of this expansive tunnel system raises critical questions about the strategic advantage it provides to Hamas in the ongoing conflict. As Israel grapples with the challenge of neutralizing this subterranean infrastructure, the conflict takes on a new dimension with the underground labyrinth becoming a key element in the broader geopolitical landscape of the region.
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