IDF says over 800 tunnel shafts uncovered in Gaza since start of ground offensive

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

The Israel Defense Forces says troops have discovered more than 800 tunnel shafts in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the ground offensive which began in late October.

It says that around 500 of them have already been destroyed, either by setting off large amounts of explosives inside, or by sealing them.

According to the IDF, many of the tunnels connect between Hamas “strategic assets.”

The IDF says it has also destroyed many kilometers’ worth of tunnels, in addition to the shafts.

“The shafts were located in civilian areas, and many of them were located near or inside educational institutions, kindergartens, mosques, and playgrounds,” the IDF says.

In some of the tunnels, IDF troops found Hamas weaponry.

“These findings are further proof of the cynical use that the Hamas terror organization makes of the civilian population as a human shield, and as a cover for its terror activity,” the IDF adds.

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