Israel targets Hamas tunnels in new phase of Gaza war

Israel targets Hamas tunnels in new phase of Gaza war

Israel’s military has entered the next phase of its war against Hamas, which involves targeting the group’s tunnels and command structures in northern Gaza. This operation is expected to take several months to complete. The offensive was launched in response to a cross-border attack by Hamas gunmen that resulted in the deaths of 1,400 people and the taking of 240 hostages. Israeli forces have surrounded Gaza City and engaged in battles with Hamas fighters as they advance through the streets.

The high number of casualties in Gaza has led to increased diplomatic pressure on Israel to implement a humanitarian ceasefire. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has approved further operational plans for military action in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have not provided specific details about these plans.

Locating and disabling the extensive tunnel network beneath northern Gaza is a crucial part of the upcoming phase of the offensive. This task is expected to be time-consuming. Israeli tanks advancing towards Gaza City have encountered heavy resistance from Hamas fighters using the tunnel network to launch ambushes.

According to Palestinian sources, Hamas fighters emerge from tunnel shafts, attack Israeli forces, and then disappear, only to reappear at another tunnel entrance and repeat the process. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesperson, has stated that Israel’s combat engineering corps are using explosive devices to destroy the tunnels, and over 100 shafts have already been destroyed.

Avi Melamed, a former Israeli intelligence official, has explained that IDF troops are following a structured plan to locate tunnels, destroy rocket launching sites, and neutralize Hamas commanders and fighters. This process is expected to take months as it aims to eliminate the military capabilities of Hamas.

Hamas has constructed an extensive tunnel city beneath Gaza, stretching for hundreds of kilometers and reaching depths of up to 80 meters. The Israeli military has stated that many of Hamas’ tunnels, command centers, and rocket launchers are located near schools, hospitals, and humanitarian institutions in northern Gaza.

Despite international appeals for a humanitarian pause, the presence of Israeli troops on the ground in Gaza City makes a temporary ceasefire unlikely at this stage. Both Israel and Hamas have rejected calls for a ceasefire, with Israel demanding the release of hostages taken by Hamas before considering a cessation of hostilities.

The duration of Washington’s support for the operation may influence the extent of Israel’s freedom of action. Israeli leaders have emphasized that they are not working according to a diplomatic timeline. Hamas is estimated to have a force of 20,000 to 30,000 fighters, and Israel is targeting Hamas field commanders to undermine their ability to carry out counterattacks.

While Hamas has not disclosed the number of fighters killed, funerals have been held for some political and military leaders. Major General Yaron Finkelman, the head of the IDF’s Southern Command, has confirmed that dozens of Hamas commanders have been killed. The IDF has reported that 348 Israeli soldiers have also been killed since the start of the offensive.

The Israeli military’s aerial bombardment aims to immobilize as much of Hamas’ military infrastructure as possible before engaging in battles underground in the tunnels. Ground troops are using robots and sniffer dogs to locate tunnel entrances and gather intelligence without directly entering them. Bulldozers are being used to destroy parts of tunnel entrances.

Due to the presence of Israeli hostages believed to be held in the tunnels, operations in the tunnel network must proceed cautiously. Some intelligence is being gathered from Gaza residents fleeing south about the concentration of the tunnels. Israel has accused Hamas of using the al-Shifa hospital as a shield for underground operational centers, and incursions around the hospital pose significant risks for Israeli forces.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has resulted in a high cost in terms of casualties and challenges for both sides. The duration of the operation and the level of support from the international community will continue to shape the course of the conflict.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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