ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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IDF reveals tunnel in Khan Younis used by top Hamas brass, and later to hold hostages

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

A photo released by the IDF on February 7, 2024, shows a holding cell inside a major Hamas tunnel captured by Israeli troops in Khan Younis, southern Gaza (IDF)
A photo released by the IDF on February 7, 2024, shows a holding cell inside a major Hamas tunnel captured by Israeli troops in Khan Younis, southern Gaza (IDF)

The IDF reveals a major Hamas tunnel in southern Gaza’s Khan Younis, previously used by senior members of the terror group and later converted into a hostage-holding facility

Troops of the elite Yahalom combat engineering unit and other special forces under the 98th Division raided the “strategic” underground network, which the IDF says was around a kilometer long.

The IDF says senior Hamas officials had previously resided in the tunnel, and hostages were later held there during the war.

“The troops battled terrorists in the tunnel, breached blast doors and neutralized explosive devices,” the IDF says.

In the tunnel, the army says troops found a holding cell where hostages had previously been kept, a bathroom, and a resting area for the terrorists guarding the hostages.

A total of 12 hostages were held in the tunnel at different times, three of whom have already returned to Israel, the IDF says. It says it also recovered various findings and weapons in the tunnel.

The IDF says the tunnel was built “in the heart of a civilian area in Khan Younis” and according to its estimates, millions of shekels were invested in its construction. It says the tunnel is part of a “branching underground labyrinth” that also connects to another tunnel where hostages were held, revealed by the IDF several weeks ago.

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