Gaza Tunnel Truth In Israel Hamas War: Why the Gaza Terrorists’ Tunnels Pose a Big Problem for the Israeli Army

Hamas Tunnel in Gaza Strip

International Desk, Delhi Magazine: Underneath the city, there’s a secret network of tunnels in Gaza. When the Israeli army moves forward, Hamas relies on this underground system. It’s called the “Gaza Metro” by the Israeli forces. These tunnels have command centers, weapons, fuel reserves, and hiding spots for terrorists and hostages. Delhi Magazine explains why these advanced tunnels, made twenty years ago, are a big advantage for Hamas. They also pose a significant challenge for the Israeli army, which recently claimed to have entered the core of Gaza City on November 7.

“Destroying Hamas means destroying this network of tunnels,” the IDF said on the social network X. The armed forces of the Jewish state, which regularly communicate on the threat represented by Hamas tunnels, showed on the platform how they could neutralize them using explosives. However, these operations promise to be complicated due to numerous obstacles.


The Israeli army accuses Hamas of using these tunnels for military purposes, hiding them under civilian places like hospitals, schools, and mosques. On Sunday, November 5, the IDF announced, with a supporting video, that they found the entrance to a tunnel in front of Sheikh Hamad hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip.

In a briefing to the international media outlets, IDF Spokesman revealed new intelligence showing Hamas’s use of medical facilities in the Gaza Strip for terror purposes.

Hagari presents a video showing an underground entrance from Sheikh Hamad Hospital, which connects to

— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) November 6, 2023

The army also said that the Indonesian hospital in Gaza to hide a “command center” of Hamas in its basement. They claim to have found a rocket launch pad just 75 meters away from the building. Daniel Hagari, spokesperson for the Israeli army, criticized the “cynical use of hospitals” by the Palestinian movement, stating that they know the hospital could be damaged if Israel attacks the nearby launch base. In late October, the army accused Hamas of having tunnels under Al-Shifa hospital, the largest hospital in the Palestinian enclave.

It’s probable that many of the around 240 hostages held by Hamas since the October 7 terrorist attacks are being kept underground. Yocheved Lifshitz, an 85-year-old former Israeli hostage released on Monday, October 23, mentioned being held in this underground network. His daughter Sharone described it as a vast underground network, like a giant spider web of tunnels. Why does Hamas keep hostages in these tunnels? According to Scott Savitz, an engineer at the Rand Corporation, a US government military research center, it’s the most secure space, and it puts the Israeli army in a difficult position, forcing them to enter and attempt rescues, creating a series of challenging dilemmas for the situation.

In a publication dated October 17 , the Modern War Institute at the American military academy West Point spoke of an “underground nightmare” of 1,300 galleries of 500 km buried under a cramped territory 41 km long and 6 to 12 km wide. Just for comparison,the Paris metro has 226 kilometers of tunnels. In this confusing network of tight tunnels with concrete walls, there are command posts next to rooms storing weapons and fuel, and some tunnels even have generators. . “It is a military base, under a civilian population” , summarizes Daphné Richemond-Barak, researcher at the West Point academy and teacher at Reichman University in Herzliya in Israel, on franceinfo.

The person who went into a Hamas tunnel after the 2014 war said it felt very tight and uncomfortable. After 20 minutes, it gets really scary, and finding your way back is hard. According to John Spencer from the West Point Academy, who wrote about these tunnels, they’re typically only two meters high and one meter wide, making it really tough to get in, move around, and fight in.

The expert thinks the “Gaza metro” is much fancier than the tunnels used by Daesh in Syria and Iraq. According to an Israeli military person talked to by AFP, building each kilometer of these tunnels costs about $500,000 (around 460,000 euros). How did Hamas pay for them? By using international aid money, says Harel Shorel, who is an expert on Palestinian issues at Tel Aviv University, in an interview with France 2.

Some of the tunnels were damaged in 2013 when Egypt filled them with seawater and sewage. The Egyptian army said they blocked almost 1,400 tunnels between 2013 and 2014.  According to the IDF, in 2014, during Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, 34 tunnels, with almost half going into Israeli land, were destroyed. In 2021, the army said they destroyed 100 km of tunnels in Operation Guardian of the Walls. Hamas leader Yahya Sinouar argued that it only affected 5% of the ‘Gaza metro.’

These tunnels aren’t just for defense—they can also be used for attacks or smuggling illegal goods. In 2006, one tunnel helped Hamas enter Israeli territory and kidnap Franco-Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. In the current war in Gaza, the tunnels allow surprises like attacking from behind or placing explosives under enemy soldiers, says Scott Savitz. A video by the Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, claims to show an assault on Israeli tanks from tunnels in the Zeitoun neighborhood on November 1.


A Tricky Maze

Scott Savitz says bombing from the sky isn’t very effective because these tunnels are hard to find, and even specialized bombs struggle against very deep ones. The IDF has anti-bunker bombs, like the GBU-28, but some Hamas tunnels are 70 meters deep, as mentioned by researcher John Spencer. Breaking into these enemy tunnels is also a tough task.

You would also like to read about: Taslima Nasreen.

“Tunnels always confer tremendous advantages on their occupants over external forces, because the creators have shaped them in their own way.” – Scott Savitz, engineer at Rand Corporation.


Delhi Magazine Team

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