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New York Times: Hamas terror tunnels are much longer than expected

The length of the Hamas terror tunnels in the Gaza Strip is between 560 and 700 kilometers (350 to 435 miles), significantly longer than the estimates of the Israeli security system before the outbreak of the current war with Hamas, according to a new report by the New York Times.

  • Until December, the security establishment estimated that the length of the tunnels was about 400 kilometers (250 miles). Senior officials in the intelligence system told the newspaper that according to the latest estimates based on discoveries made in the course of the war, the length of the tunnels is actually between 560 and 700 kilometers.
  • The officials also told the newspaper that there are close to 5,700 different tunnel shafts leading to the underground tunnel network.

The newspaper said that senior officials in the political and military system as well as American officials were surprised by the extent and depth of the tunnels built by Hamas with money granted to improve the lives of Gazans.

  • A document from 2022, according to the report, showed that Hamas allocated a million dollars just for tunnel doors, excavation sites, and other expenses in the Khan Yunis area.
  • The security officials said that according to current estimates, there are tunnels with a total length of about 160 kilometers under Khan Yunis alone.
  • Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak, an expert on tunnel warfare at Reichman University, told the Times that “if you want to destroy Hamas, you must destroy the tunnels.”

According to the report, the tunnels are divided into two types.

The first type is used by Hamas for its headquarters located deeper in the tunnel infrastructure. The second type of tunnel is used by the terrorists themselves and is of a shallower depth underground.

  • The first type of tunnel is also designed to allow the Hamas leaders to remain inside them for extended periods of time and are more luxurious in nature.

It was also reported that the IDF managed to locate a list of various houses in the Gaza Strip that host tunnel shafts, which has assisted in the efforts to destroy Hamas’ tunnel infrastructure.

Source: Arutz Sheva