Israeli Military Unveils 'Gaza Metro' as Hamas' Underground Labyrinth

Israeli Military Unveils Gaza Metro as Hamas Underground Labyrinth

Tanks churn through the mud between bombed-out buildings in Gaza's main southern city of Khan Yunis, now the epicentre of the war, as gunfire and explosions reverberate in the distance. The military alleges Hamas members are using the underground labyrinth, dubbed the "Gaza Metro," to hide out and hold hostages. The Israeli army recently led a group of journalists through a long tunnel it said had been dug by Hamas below the city, much of which lies in ruins after weeks of bombing and heavy combat. The military has concentrated its operations in Khan Yunis, the hometown of Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar, the alleged architect of the October 7 attack.

Troops are patrolling neighborhoods that have been reduced to rubble, with no civilians in sight. Rows of pockmarked buildings, including some with gaping holes in them, and destroyed houses line the roads. The offensive has killed at least 26,632 people in Gaza, including many civilians. Military officials claim many hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 have been, or continue to be, held in the vast network of tunnels beneath Gaza.

The labyrinth of tunnels beneath the coastal territory was initially devised as a way of circumventing the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza, in place since 2007. The tunnel network has been expanded and Hamas has made frequent use of it to facilitate its rocket launches. Israel launched a relentless bombardment of Gaza and a ground invasion that started in northern Gaza and has steadily moved south since.

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