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Israel destroyed a network of Hamas tunnels in Gaza hidden under "Palestine Square." Photo

Anna PaskevychWorld
Food and water supplies found in terrorists' labyrinths

The Israel Defense Forces announced that it had destroyed a large Hamas tunnel network hidden under a commercial area in Gaza City known as "Palestine Square." According to the Israeli military, Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar and Muhammad Deif were hiding in underground passages just below the crowded square during the October 7 attack.

According to The Times of Israel, the underground network was connected to the homes, offices and hideouts of senior Hamas officials, including Muhammad Deif, "the elusive leader of the terrorist group's military wing, and Yahya Sinwar, the highest-ranking Hamas official in the Gaza Strip."

''Palestine Square'' in Gaza, December 19, 2023

It is noted that in recent days the IDF has scanned the tunnels and received intelligence. The military said that the demolition of the tunnels was carried out by the elite Yahalom engineering unit and the 401st Armored Brigade.

Palestine Square is located in the prestigious Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City, which before the war was considered the center of power of the enclave's elite, where the leaders of the terrorist group that rules the Strip lived.

The bustling trade center hid a vast maze of Hamas tunnels used by the terrorist group's leaders to hide from Israel, the IDF said.

The area was home to a penthouse where the daughter of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh lived, a community college, Hamas government offices and a luxury bridal shop.

Demolition of a network of tunnels under Gaza's ''Palestine Square'', December 21, 2023

According to the IDF, the network of tunnels had blast doors and living quarters, and the Israeli military found food and water supplies there, indicating that the terrorists planned to remain covertly in the underground facilities for a long time.

The IDF described the complex as an "underground terrorist city" with a "strategic tunnel connected to other important underground infrastructure in the Gaza Strip."

According to The Times of Israel, Hamas's tunnel network under Gaza has long been "one of the worst-kept secrets in the world," but Israel's ground operation has shed light on how "vast and durable" it is.

Earlier this month, the IDF revealed a tunnel built dozens of meters below the northern part of the Gaza Strip, at least 4 km long, near the border with Israel at the Erez crossing, wide enough for a car to drive through.

A Palestinian square in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City, December 19, 2023

A video found by the IDF shows Sinwar's brother, Mohammed, a senior Hamas official, driving through this tunnel.

As you know, Israel launched a large-scale military operation against Hamas after the terrorist attack on southern Israel on October 7, which killed about 1200 people, mostly civilians, and took another 240 hostages.

The Gaza Ministry of Health, controlled by Hamas terrorists, claims that more than 20 thousand people were killed in the Gaza Strip (unconfirmed data), Israel, in turn, claims that about 40% of the dead were Hamas militants.

On Thursday, December 21, the IDF reported that since the end of the temporary ceasefire in Gaza on December 1, more than 2 thousand Hamas militants have been killed. According to military estimates, about 8 thousand terrorists have been eliminated since the beginning of the war. Another 1 thousand Hamas terrorists were killed in Israel on October 7 during an attack by the terrorist group.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named a condition for ending the war in the Gaza Strip. Hamas terrorists who control the enclave must surrender or be completely destroyed, he said.

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