The Israeli military has announced the discovery of the largest Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip to date, according to reports from AFP. The subterranean passage was part of an extensive network spanning over 2.5 miles, nearly reaching the Erez border crossing within 400 meters, as stated by the army.
EXPOSED: The biggest Hamas terrorist tunnel discovered. This massive tunnel system branches out and spans well over four kilometers (2.5 miles). Its entrance is located only 400 meters (1,310 feet) from the Erez Crossing—used by Gazans on a daily basis to enter Israel for work and medical treatment in Israeli hospitals. This tunnel system was a project led by Mohammad Sinwar, the brother of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, and the commander of Hamas’ Khan Yunis Battalion,” IDF wrote on X.
EXPOSED: The biggest Hamas terrorist tunnel discovered.
This massive tunnel system branches out and spans well over four kilometers (2.5 miles). Its entrance is located only 400 meters (1,310 feet) from the Erez Crossing—used by Gazans on a daily basis to enter Israel for work… pic.twitter.com/RcjK5LbvGL
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 17, 2023
The tunnel with approximately four kilometers (2.5 miles), reaching depths of around 50 meters (165 feet) underground in certain sections. The tunnel seems to have sufficient width to accommodate vehicles, and notably, it does not extend into Israeli territory.
Israeli forces revealed that the construction of the tunnel, intended to target the Erez crossing, incurred costs in the millions and took several years to complete. The intricate passageways boasted features such as drainage systems, electricity, ventilation, sewage facilities, and a communication network.
Rear Adm Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesperson, emphasized, “This is the biggest tunnel we found in Gaza. It was meant to target the (Erez) crossing,” refraining from specifying whether Hamas utilized it in the October 7 attack. He added, “Millions of dollars were invested in this tunnel. It took years to build this tunnel… Vehicles could drive through.”
Simultaneously, France’s foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, arrived in Israel, advocating for an “immediate and durable” truce in the conflict with Hamas. In Tel Aviv, alongside her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen, Colonna expressed concern over the high civilian casualties, stating, “Too many civilians are being killed.”
Colonna, set to meet the families of French hostages still held in Gaza, highlighted Paris’s deep concern about the situation in the territory. She underscored the importance of not forgetting the victims of Hamas’s attacks, including those subjected to sexual violence.
The conflict erupted following a cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7, resulting in approximately 1,200 casualties and 240 individuals being taken hostage. Israel’s extensive air campaign and a forceful ground invasion have led to the destruction of entire neighborhoods, with health officials in the Hamas-governed region reporting that over 11,000 Palestinians have lost their lives in the ongoing hostilities.
Israel, committed to ousting Hamas from power in Gaza, justifies the substantial casualties as an unavoidable consequence of combating militants who use civilians as shields and launch rockets from densely populated areas.