Egyptian army: Hamas enhancing terror tunnel network

Hamas is devising new methods to contend with the Egyptian campaign to destroy its tunnel network.

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News
Egypt Army

Egyptian security forces on the Gazan border. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

Egypt has discovered that despite its offensive in Sinai against Islamic terror infrastructure and specifically Hamas’ tunnel network running from the Sinai Peninsula into Gaza, Hamas continues to build and enhance its smuggling tunnels to the Gaza Strip.

Middle East News Online (MENL) quotes Egyptian officials that said Hamas and its Islamic terrorist allies were improving its smuggling tunnels from the Gaza Strip to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. They said the tunnels were being reinforced with concrete and steel to prevent Egyptian demolitions and flooding.

“The new tunnels were meant to withstand flooding by the Egyptian Army,” an official told MENL.

On November 27, the Egyptian Border Guard discovered the first Palestinian tunnel made of iron under the Sinai border. Officials said the tunnel was located 10 meters north of the Rafah Border Terminal.

Officials said the iron tunnels were meant to withstand Egypt’s project to construct a moat along the 14-kilometer border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. They said the tunnels contained walls made of iron 40 centimeters thick.

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The uncovered tunnel was destroyed by a large quantity of explosives. Officials said the Border Guard detected the 70-meter tunnel after a flood failed to be absorbed into the ground.

“The tunnels were ordered by Hamas and funded by Qatar,” another official said. They are used by the Hamas, which rules Gaza, for smuggling weapons and as a source of tax revenue. The tunnels also supply Gaza with anything from cigarettes to livestock and entire cars.

The Egyptian army has been conducting an extensive campaign to destroy the tunnels as part of a broader military campaign in the northern Sinai against anti-regime Islamic terrorists who, together with Hamas, have carried out several deadly attacks against Egypt’s security forces.

The Egyptian army has destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels as well as thousands of homes, and it evicted families from the border near Rafah, where it is creating a buffer zone with Gaza.