Hamas Tunnels: The “Metro” Infrastructure in all its Glory
The Israeli news site, N12 provided new information attained on the Hamas tunnels within built-up civilian areas, nick-named the “Metro”. This is where donor dollars are going instead of for food, medications, hospitals, education, bomb shelters for the population, and other purposes generally considered essential by sane societies. The tunnel system is one of the major items on the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) list of military targets for the current operation, called Guardian of the Walls. Here is my translation from the Hebrew article:
Estimates shows that, over the last decade, Hamas has invested most of its funds and energies in digging a tunnel infrastructure spreading the entire length of the Gaza Strip — at the heart of the civilian population. Following the damage to the Hamas tunnel project [for those tunnels crossing the border] into Israel as part of the Tzuk Eitan Operation , Hamas built and is still bulding its combat strategy on the basis of its ability to infiltrate Israel underground and it budgets many resources toward this end. In the framework of the current operation, the IDF has damaged this internal tunnel network as a step complementary to the destruction of the tunnels into Israel.
The Hamas tunnels fulfill many purposes, among them preparation for an ambush in case Israel enters Gaza with ground forces, action against the attacks, launching of mortars and activation of RPG units, infiltration into Israeli territory and for the provision of assistance to residents of the Strip during wartime.
In the tunnels are extensive electric and water infrastructures, including toilets, showers and rooms in which Hamas activists who stay there can rest. Until now, Hamas has invested tens of millions of dollars per month in digging the tunnels meant for internal and external attacks and it continues to invest in them at the expense of civilian needs. For example, during the Corona crisis, the organization continued to operate the tunnels at the expense of residents’ health needs. The cost of building one kilometer of tunnels is estimated at about half a million dollars.
The IDF website has an abundance of information on Operation Guardian of the Walls. Unfortunately, there is more in Hebrew than in English.
In this video, we get a glimpse of some of the Hamas tunnels and the huge financial investment is obvious:
An illustration demonstrating the integration of Hamas operations within the civilian population:
A map showing the “Metro” underground tunnel system underlying civilian population areas:
And finally, let us see how the IDF attacks the Hamas tunnels (translation of the Hebrew titles below the video):
- Preparation of ground forces before the attack
- Movement of ground forces toward the border
- Arming the planes for the attack
- Ground forces attack
- The air force attacks
We can see the coordination between the ground forces and the air force, essential for success of the operations. What seems absolutely remarkable is how the bombs find their way into the tunnel system without bringing down surrounding buildings. And where building are involved as targets, the civilians working or living there are warned and told to leave in order to survive the attack.
Feature Image Credit: IDF website media