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Israel vs. Hamas: The Battle Below the Ground


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In a recent statement, Iranian military chief of staff General Mohammad Baqeri revealed startling details about the underground tunnel network constructed by Hamas in northern Gaza.

These tunnels, with a cumulative length of over 400 kilometers, serve as a strategic asset for Hamas and a challenge for Israel. General Baqeri warned Israel of a “humiliating defeat” in the event of a ground offensive. In this article, we delve into the significance of these tunnels, their history, and the implications for the ongoing conflict.


The Vast Tunnel Network


According to General Baqeri, Hamas has constructed an extensive underground network in the northern region of Gaza. The tunnels are designed to facilitate the movement of vehicles and even motorcycles. These tunnels connect the Gaza Strip to locations behind Israeli barriers, presenting a formidable challenge for Israeli forces. It’s a sophisticated and hidden infrastructure that has been a cause for concern for years.


A Key Deterrent for Israel


The revelation of these extensive tunnels is a testament to the significance of this infrastructure in Hamas’s defensive strategy. It’s well-known that Hamas has been investing in building these tunnels for two decades. The objective is to resist any ground assault by Israeli troops effectively. This effort began even before Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, and it escalated after a blockade was imposed by both Israel and Egypt in 2007.


The Complexity of the Tunnels


The tunnels are not only extensive but also complex in their construction and concealment. Tunnel entrances are strategically hidden under civilian infrastructure, including houses, mosques, and schools. This makes it challenging for Israeli forces to detect and destroy them without causing collateral damage. The labyrinthine structure of these tunnels is expected to be infested with booby traps and command-detonated improvised explosive devices, further increasing the danger and complexity of any military operation to neutralize them.


The Ongoing Israeli Offensive


The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are currently engaged in a ground operation in Gaza, targeting these tunnels and militants using them. As IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari reported, Israeli troops have entered the Gaza Strip over the past few days, intensifying the ground offensive. Their objective is to eliminate militants who have barricaded themselves in buildings and are posing a threat to the advancing forces.


Hagari stated that Hamas militants are barricading themselves in staging areas, which are being targeted by Israeli forces both from the air and on the ground. The situation remains volatile and fluid, as the IDF confronts the challenges posed by the extensive tunnel network.


Implications for the Conflict


The existence and resilience of these tunnels highlight the complexity of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Hamas has demonstrated its ability to adapt and fortify its positions, making any military operation a high-stakes endeavor. As Israel seeks to degrade Hamas’s capabilities, the risk of civilian casualties and infrastructure damage is a major concern.


The situation underscores the importance of finding a diplomatic solution to the longstanding conflict, as military operations alone may not bring a lasting resolution. The tunnels are just one facet of the multifaceted challenges in the region.


In conclusion, the revelation of Hamas’s extensive underground tunnel network in northern Gaza sheds light on the complexities of the Israel-Hamas conflict. The tunnels serve as a deterrent and a strategic asset for Hamas, while posing challenges for Israel’s military operations. The ongoing conflict underscores the need for a comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes and seeks a peaceful resolution to the enduring tensions in the region.

Abu Bakr Alvi
Abu Bakr Alvi
Mr. Abu Bakr Alvi, Senior Journalist Based in Faisalabad

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