During last month’s war with Hamas, the IDF destroyed some 60 miles of tunnels, part of a subterranean network created by the terrorist group to move troops and weapons around Gaza without exposing them to attack. In 2018, Qanta Ahmed visited one of these tunnels that had been captured by Israel. She recalls:
The word “tunnel” conjures up an idea of something small and dirty. But when I explored these tunnels in Gaza with the IDF in 2018 during a guided tour, the reality was rather different. I entered wearing a tailored white jacket and emerged completely spotless.
It was not a ramshackle trench, as I had expected. Far from it. Ventilation ensured the air in the tunnel was fresh. There was electrical wiring and concrete finishing. They are well-illuminated and carefully engineered. I was also shown the exit of the tunnel, which led directly to an Israeli farmer’s field meters away from a kindergarten. These tunnels are not built by amateurs but by a dedicated war machine obsessed by its hatred of Israel.
The structure of the tunnels, which run at least 30 feet below ground, is also far more complex than many realize. Satellite images from the tour (which I undertook at my own expense) made the sophisticated complexity of the London Underground and the New York subway system look like child’s play. Hamas’s tunnel network looks more like a lattice of intricate crochet.
Needless to say, Hamas upgraded and expanded the tunnel network between Ahmed’s visit and 2021.
Read more on Spectator: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/inside-hamas-s-tunnel-complex