IDF exposes vast Hamas network under civilian infrastructure, threatens Gaza population

If the tunnels collapse, hospitals, mosques, universities, or factories will also collapse with them, the IDF warned.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

The IDF exposed a vast network of tunnels, essentially an underground city, dug by the Hamas terror organization under crucial civilian infrastructure, while warning that these buildings are at risk if the terror organization attacks Israel.

Hamas’ use of civilian settings for its weapons warehouses and training bases has been known for over a decade, as well as its use of human shields, in contravention of all international conventions.

What the IDF revealed on Wednesday are underground networks that were built within the various neighborhoods in the Strip.

The tunnels pass under buildings necessary for civilian life, with Hamas knowing that Israel’s attacks on these military targets would be very problematic.

If the tunnels collapse, hospitals, mosques, universities, or factories will also collapse with them, the IDF warned.

A recent example is the underground terror tunnel dug by Hamas in the Tufah neighborhood in Gaza City. The tunnel is used for the storage of explosives and for the movement of Hamas terrorists, and is located near the “Pepsi” factory operating under a franchise, and the UNRWA-run “Draaj” elementary school, which is used in times of emergency as a declared shelter for 2,500 people.

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Also, a weapons cache and the entrance to a terrorist tunnel shaft were located in the homes of two of the organization’s operatives. The first is Mahmoud Salah Muhammad Abu Ali, an operative in Hamas’ production system, who has a weapons storage facility on the roof of his house.

The IDF noted that it’s not just his house that he is endangering – the house is surrounded by other residences and is located next to the UNRA clinic, which is across the road and provides medical care to about 15,000 people.

The second activist is Amer Awni Muhaisen, a Hamas commander in charge of training in the Al-Shujaiya Brigade, whose house has an entrance to a terror tunnel shaft dug 60 meters away from a school with about 20 classes and which is used as a shelter for refugees during an emergency, and 30 meters away from a mosque.

Another tunnel passes near the main ambulance center in Gaza, which includes 14 ambulances.

“The locations where these infrastructures were discovered present a difficult and sad picture, where exploitation and inhumanity are a course of action,” the IDF stated. “The enemy hides under the noses of innocent people the infrastructure for the next war, thus putting them, against their will, at the front of the next campaign.”

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The Israeli military shared that commanders from all the IDF units in the sector are faced with significant dilemmas because of the complex situation.

“They operate with the knowledge that if they do not act – those places will be used for terrorism. This is how the surgical and pinpoint strikes that the IDF is known for were created,” the IDF explained.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz toured Israel’s southern border on Wednesday and visited the IDF’s Gaza division. He stated that the IDF has “revealed examples that show how Hamas endangers Palestinian civilians. Hamas launches attacks from within population centers towards population centers.

“The whole world must see this crime against humanity. Israel will operate with precision and force against terror targets, and defend the citizens of the State of Israel.”