Since the beginning of ground operations in the Gaza Strip, IDF soldiers have located over 800 shafts to Hamas’ underground tunnels, the IDF Spokesperson announced this afternoon (Sunday).
"About 500 of the tunnel shafts have been destroyed using a variety of operational methods, including with explosives and blocks. Some of the tunnel shafts connected Hamas' strategic assets via the underground tunnel network. In addition, many miles of the tunnel routes have been destroyed," the IDF stated.
"The tunnel shafts were located in civilian areas, many of which were near or inside civilian buildings and structures, such as schools, kindergartens, mosques and playgrounds. IDF soldiers located large quantities of weapons inside some of the shafts. These findings are further proof of how Hamas deliberately uses the civilian population and infrastructure as a cover for its terrorist activity inside Gaza.
"After locating the shafts, IDF troops carry out thorough investigations in order to understand the characteristics of the tunnels and then prepare the underground route for its destruction."
Earlier, the IDF announced that "the reservists of the 551st Brigade Combat Team completed their task in the area surrounding Jabalya. During the activity, which began before the operational pause, the soldiers located and destroyed operational tunnel shafts of the Hamas terrorist organization. One tunnel shaft, located in the courtyard of a school complex had a depth of dozens of meters. Another operational tunnel shaft was located in the home of an operative from Hamas’ naval force."
"The soldiers, in cooperation with special forces, worked to neutralize the underground infrastructure and they secured and isolated the areas to the north of Jabalya.
"As part of the activity, the soldiers neutralized terrorists, while cooperating with the IAF and the brigade’s intelligence and fire teams. In addition, the soldiers of the brigade destroyed enemy capabilities and terrorist targets, and seized a large amount of military equipment, including weapons, grenades, explosives, launchers and ammunition," the IDF Spokesperson said.