January 29, 2024 | Flash Brief

Up to 40 Percent of Hamas Terror Tunnels in Gaza Damaged or Destroyed

January 29, 2024 | Flash Brief

Up to 40 Percent of Hamas Terror Tunnels in Gaza Damaged or Destroyed

Latest Developments

Israel has damaged or rendered inoperable 20 to 40 percent of the Hamas terror tunnels in Gaza, The Wall Street Journal reported on January 28, citing U.S. and Israeli officials. Hamas built hundreds of miles of tunnels underneath Gaza in the last decade and a half. Many of the tunnels are under civilian areas, including hospitals. Israeli forces continue to uncover and destroy hundreds of these tunnel shafts in the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7. Operations by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in northern and central Gaza, as well as Khan Younis in southern Gaza, are degrading Hamas capabilities. “Hamas is collapsing into its own tunnels that it painstakingly dug. Every place it thought would be a trap for IDF soldiers becomes an area where we hit it,” Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on January 25.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas tunnels represent a major threat to Israel and the region. Through hundreds of miles of tunnels, Hamas has been able to conceal its arsenal of rockets and weapons. It also uses the tunnels to move hostages around and exploits the civilian landscape to build the tunnels. Finding and destroying the tunnels are key to Israel’s war on terror, and Israel must have the support and time to dismantle the Hamas tunnel empire in Gaza.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Since the start of the war, one of Israel’s biggest challenges is having enough time to complete its stated objectives in Gaza. Hamas, on the other hand, has been building tunnels and other military assets for years. Despite Israel’s considerable accomplishments in the war, the arduous task of dismantling tunnels and eliminating Hamas infrastructure demands a substantial amount of time and effort to complete.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Israeli Forces Find Explosives, Missiles, and Rocket Launchers in Khan Younis

Israeli soldiers located “large quantities of weapons” in Khan Younis, the IDF said on January 29. The IDF said that it found “AK-47s, RPGs, explosive devices, missiles, as well as several launchers were located in the area.” Israeli soldiers continue to face “high-intensity” fighting in Khan Younis, the IDF reported on January 28.

Israel has transitioned to a more low-intensity form of conflict in the northern part of Gaza, where Hamas has been largely defeated. Meanwhile, Hamas continues to pose a threat in southern Gaza. The IDF said on January 28 that a commando unit spotted and eliminated a Hamas terrorist cell in Khan Younis. In addition, other Israeli forces in Khan Younis confronted Hamas gunmen and called in airstrikes to neutralize threats.

Israel Demands Qatari Action on Hostages,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel: Hamas Terrorists Base Operations from Southern Gaza Hospitals,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Increases Pressure on Hamas Terrorists in Khan Younis,” FDD Flash Brief

24 Israeli Soldiers Killed in Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief


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