IDF uncovers six-mile tunnel stretching from northern Gaza to south
Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip, Feb. 26, 2024. (Photo: IDF)

Hamas used the structure to redeploy terrorists from battalion to battalion.

By Akiva Van Koningsveld
February 26. 2024

(JNS) — Israel Defense Forces troops in the Gaza Strip uncovered a major tunnel network extending from the northern part of the enclave to the south, a distance of more than six miles, the military revealed on Monday.

The IDF’s 162nd Division, led by the Nahal Brigade and the Combat Engineering Corps’ special operations Yahalom Unit, gained control over the Hamas shafts and destroyed “large parts” of the network, the army said.

The terror tunnel system connected the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, which borders the northern Strip, to Israa University in southern Gaza City and beyond, according to Israel.

“The route connects [Hamas’s] Central Brigade to the Gaza City Brigade, including the Nuseirat, Sabra and Zeitoun battalions,” the IDF said, noting that the tunnels were used to move terrorists “between different units in the Strip.”

Earlier on Monday, the IDF said soldiers of the 401st Brigade “continue to operate and fight” in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighbrhood, killing at least 30 terrorist operatives over the past day alone with air force support.

Meanwhile, in central Gaza, the Nahal Brigade killed more than 10 terrorists over the span of 24 hours, the IDF said.

In Khan Yunis in the south, the IDF’s Combat Intelligence Corps Unit 414 identified a terrorist preparing to fire a rocket-propelled grenade. The soldiers pursued the terrorist and ordered an airstrike, eliminating the threat.

In western Khan Yunis, soldiers killed several terrorists using tank and sniper fire, as well as in close-quarters combat. During raids on terrorist infrastructure in the area, the forces seized weapons including grenades, ammunition and other military equipment used by Hamas.

Some four months after ground forces entered Gaza on Oct. 27 in response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 people in Israel, the IDF has defeated at least 18 out of Hamas’s 24 battalions and is clearing out the remaining terrorist forces throughout the Strip.

On Sunday, the IDF presented to the War Cabinet operational plans for an imminent offensive in the southernmost city of Rafah, described as “the last Hamas bastion” by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Speaking to Fox News on Monday, the premier addressed U.S. concerns about a plan to protect noncombatants.

“We do have a combined plan of evacuating civilians out of harm’s way and destroying those Hamas battalions,” Netanyahu said about the four Hamas battalions concentrated in Rafah out of six remaining in Gaza.

“Total victory is how you win the war and total victory is how you win the peace. You can’t win the peace if you don’t win the war,” he added.

On Sunday, the prime minister told CBS News that once the incursion into the city located along the Egyptian border begins, the IDF will be “weeks away from total victory.”

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