February 7, 2024 | Flash Brief

Tunnel Used by Hamas to Hold Hostages Found in Gaza

February 7, 2024 | Flash Brief

Tunnel Used by Hamas to Hold Hostages Found in Gaza

Latest Developments

Israeli troops uncovered a tunnel “used by senior [Hamas] operatives to hold hostages in Khan Younis,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on February 7. Israeli soldiers have been fighting Hamas fighters in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis for two months, dismantling the terrorist group’s infrastructure. The IDF said that during a targeted raid in the city, it found a “strategic underground tunnel over one kilometer in length.” The tunnel held “approximately 12 hostages at different times,” the IDF concluded. Israeli forces had to fight terrorists in the tunnel and breach metal doors to uncover the extent of the site. Khan Younis is the hometown of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and was a stronghold of Hamas forces.

Expert Analysis

“Israeli forces continue to make inroads against Hamas in operations in Gaza. Hamas used the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis to hold hostages. The terrorist group has embedded itself among civilians and uses civilian areas to shield its tunnels. Hamas must be defeated in Gaza so that it can no longer pose a threat to Israel and the region.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“It should not come as a surprise that as the IDF advances in the Gaza Strip, Hamas’s military infrastructure is gradually being uncovered. The Israeli military is demonstrating its capability to make headway in Gaza, suggesting that given sufficient time, the Jewish state could ultimately prevail over Hamas and its allies. Imposing a premature and permanent ceasefire would afford Hamas the opportunity to regroup and resume hostilities in the foreseeable future.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Tunnel Built Under Civilian Homes

The tunnel found on February 7 was “built under the heart of a civilian area of Khan Younis, and intelligence estimates suggest millions of shekels were invested in its construction,” the IDF said. “This strategic tunnel is part of an intricate and interconnected underground labyrinth, linked to another tunnel revealed a few weeks ago where additional hostages were held.” On January 20, Israeli soldiers uncovered a tunnel where 20 hostages were kept in “inhumane conditions,” the IDF said. The tunnel also had a “rest area used by terrorists,” the IDF said, and Israeli troops found Hamas intelligence materials and weapons.

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