More than 500 km of terror: this is the sophisticated Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip

In the last few hours, images were released of the tunnels where more than 200 people in the city were held hostage since October 7. Gaza Strip. One of the two women released by the group Hamas terrorist described those passageways as “hell” while Israeli specialists say the tunnels could have an extension of 500km and would be 30 meters below the surface.

Yocheved Lifshitz was kidnapped and dragged on a motorcycle tied with her legs on one side and her head on the other during the bloody Hamas attack on October 7 in Gaza. After surviving captivity, the 85-year-old woman described the place as a “hell” in the “spider web” of the tunnels.

“I went through hell”: the dramatic testimony of one of the Israeli hostages freed by Hamas

Dr. Matthew Levitt, a counterterrorism expert at the Washington Institute think tank, explained to the British newspaper The Sun that The “most important” challenge facing the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is Hamas’ network of underground passages and he warned that “it will come at a severe cost” for Israel.

The specialist, who traveled through several tunnels, pointed out that it is not likely that they use these tunnels to hide terrified hostages. And he added that the tunnels give Hamas the opportunity to carry out “sophisticated ambushes” against the IDF, and that Israel needs to attack key parts from the air before attacking on the ground.

“It’s a series of intricate tunnels, not small tunnels. You can even go online and watch videos of militants driving motorcycles through them”, he explained. Additionally, he called them sophisticated in design with “steel-reinforced doors.”

“I went through hell”: the dramatic testimony of one of the Israeli hostages freed by Hamas

Jonathan Conricus, spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said: “Think of the Gaza Strip as a layer for civilians and then another layer for Hamas”. And he specified: “We are trying to get to that second layer that Hamas has built.”

Levitt reported that “these are not bunkers for Gaza civilians. They are only for Hamas and other terrorists so they can continue to fire rockets at Israel, plan operations and launch terrorists into Israel.”

Tunnel details

Camouflage is one of the most important tools so that the construction of these tunnels can be carried out. Hidden up to 30 meters below the surface, these underground passageways would have entrances beneath the floor of homes, mosques and schools, allowing fighters to move unseen between homes and alleys within Gaza.

According to the FDI, the entire network could be full of explosive traps and homemade bombs. According to The Sun, in 2021 Hamas confirmed having excavated more than 500 kilometers of tunnels.

‘Most’ of Gaza hostages ‘are alive’, Israeli military says

Feras Kilani of the BBC Arabic service recalled that on a visit to the Al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza five years ago, “I noticed a banging noise while we were driving. It almost sounded like we were driving over a bridge instead of on solid ground.”

According to the BBC, Hamas had a lot of time to set explosive traps throughout the network and they do not rule out that the terrorist group could kidnap the Israeli soldiers who are going to rescue the hostages. Along the same lines, Levitt highlighted the rescue of prisoners could also cause running out of oxygen. And he specified that “fighting the enemy in one-on-one combat and rescuing wounded soldiers becomes practically impossible.”

The Israeli embassy released a video of the children kidnapped by Hamas and demanded their release

He added: “Even if the tunnel is not entered, securing an area where tunnels are suspected is very different from simply securing an area in general.” In the past 24 hours, the IDF claims to have hit 400 targets, including several Hamas commanders, as their tanks and troops patrol near the border.

The Hamas hostages: an indelible nightmare

Once locked in one of the tunnels, the woman reported that she was beaten with a wooden stick and dragged across the plowed fields. “My ribs were not broken, but it hurt a lot in that area, making it difficult to breathe. “They stole my watch and jewelry,” she noted.

One of the survivors of the Hamas tunnels summarized: “I went through a nightmare we couldn’t have imagined. “I constantly have images of what happened replaying in my mind.”

The traumatized woman said she was forced to walk for miles through the maze of passages after being dragged into Gaza. Her husband, Oded Lifschitz, was kidnapped and is part of the long list of hostages who survive in the Hamas tunnels.


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