The Israel Army today posted several visuals of a reinforced tunnel under Gaza’s largest hospital, which they claimed was part of a vast underground network Hamas uses for military purposes. The tunnel was located at a point inside the Al Shifa Hospital complex in north Gaza, which has been the focal point of the war between Israeli troops and Hamas for the past few weeks. The IDF announced that when they discovered the tunnel, they filled it with exploding gel and hit it with the detonator, sending a massive explosion into the area, which they say destroyed whatever was hiding inside.
An IDF spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, showed reporters photographs and diagrams of the tunnel entrance, which was uncovered when a military bulldozer knocked down the outside wall of the hospital compound. He said the tunnel had a fortified shaft with a spiral staircase that descended 10 meters. It also had a blast door, typically a metallic, fire-resistant door designed to resist explosions.
Hagari claimed that Hamas terrorists and commanders had been using hospitals, including the Al Shifa, as command centers to hide from the IDF. He also said that the tunnels under Gaza’s hospitals were connected to a network of other tunnels. But CNN and other media outlets could not establish if the tunnel uncovered at Al Shifa was part of this more extensive network of Hamas tunnels.
The IDF has been releasing a series of evidence it says it has found at the hospital, such as weapons that they claim were seized and videos that appear to show Hamas militants forcefully dragging what Israel says are hostages down a hallway. They also released a 3D animated video on October 28, visualizing a purported network of tunnels and operations rooms that connect to the hospital complex.
A columnist at the Haaretz newspaper, Amos Harel, wrote that the IDF entered the hospital because it had “specific goals,” such as exposing Hamas’ use of medical facilities for military purposes and seeking out intelligence about Israeli hostages in the Palestinian group. He also said that the raid would send a message that the IDF was unafraid to enter any area Hamas was hiding in.