The largest Hamas tunnel to date has been found, according to the Israeli military.

Small vehicles have the ability to travel through a tunnel that is located within 400 metres of the Erez border crossing, according to the Israeli army’s recent discovery of the largest Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip. The tunnel is part of a complex network that extends over 2.5 miles (4km) and is led by Mohamed Yahya, the brother of Hamas chief, Yahya Sinwar. Equipped with multiple amenities such as drainage systems, electricity, ventilation, communication network, and rails, the tunnel is constructed with reinforced concrete walls, compacted earth floors, and a metal cylinder entrance.

Footage released by the army shows a construction vehicle being driven into the tunnel, revealing a temporary warehouse filled with pre-cast concrete for wall lining and workers using crude power tools to dig underground. The army also discovered a significant number of stored weapons intended for potential attacks.

While the tunnel was built close to the Erez crossing to bypass the Israeli blockades, the Israeli army spokesperson, Lt Col Richard Hecht, stated that Hamas prioritizes attacking Israel over supporting the people of Gaza, as evidenced by their massive investment in the tunnel project. The tunnel network beneath Gaza, referred to as the “Gaza Metro” by the Israeli military, initially aimed to circumvent the blockade imposed since 2007 and has since expanded and been utilized by Hamas for rocket launches.

A recent study by the Modern War Institute indicates that there are approximately 1,300 tunnels stretching more than 500km (310 miles) in Gaza. The Israeli army has uncovered over 800 tunnels, with 500 already demolished. Additionally, reports have surfaced about the army’s consideration of flooding the tunnels with seawater from the Mediterranean Sea, with successful tests conducted.

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