IDF uncovers largest terror tunnel in Gaza

Its width indicates that it was intended to have been used for vehicle-borne raids against civilians in the Gaza border communities.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

On Sunday, the IDF uncovered the largest terror tunnel in Northern Gaza extending close to the Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel.

The tunnel extends four kilometers (2.5 miles) and 50 meters (165) below ground and is sufficiently wide to allow passage to vehicles.

In a video statement, the commander of the Gaza Division’s Northern Brigade, Col. Haim Cohen said, “Its width indicates that it was intended to have been used for vehicle-borne raids against civilians in the Gaza border communities.”

Although the tunnel did not extend into Israel, it did stretch 400 meters from the Erez crossing, which is used by Palestinian civilians to go to Israel for work or medical care.

The tunnel involves a complex network of branches and includes plumbing, electricity, and lines of communications as well as blast doors to prevent entry by IDF troops.

During the ground war, attacks against the IDF were launched from inside the tunnel and several Hamas terrorists situated in the tunnel were killed by the IDF.

Over the last few weeks, the Combat Engineering Corps’ elite Yahalom unit and the Gaza Division’s Northern Brigade used “advanced intelligence and technological means” to uncover the “strategic” tunnel network, scan it, and clear it of any potential threats.”

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In addition to discovering the tunnel, the IDF found footage of Hamas engineers and builders constructing the tunnel, which was directed by Muhammad Sinwar, the commander of Hamas’s southern brigade, and brother of Hamas’s Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar.

Dozens of Hamas terrorists were responsible for the construction of the tunnel and “came especially for its construction from Khan Younis [in the southern Gaza Strip] to the north of the Gaza Strip,” according to the IDF video.

It is estimated that the terror tunnels cost millions of dollars to construct.

Since the beginning of the Gaza ground war, the IDF has been located and destroying terror tunnels; as of last week, 800 tunnel shafts were discovered and 500 destroyed.