Conflicts & War

Israel announces it has dismantled a Hamas tunnel structure under Gaza’s Jabalia camp

Jerusalem, Dec 24 (EFE).- The Israeli army announced on Sunday that it had found and dismantled a large tunnel network under the Jabalia camp in northern Gaza, and that the bodies of five hostages recovered in recent weeks had been found there.

Jabalia Camp is a Palestinian refugee camp established by the United Nations in 1948 close to the city of Jabalia. It is now an urban agglomeration of more than 100,000 residents, descendants of refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and one of the most densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip.

“In recent weeks, the 551st Brigade of the 162nd Division secured control of the Jabalia camp area, one of Hamas’ operational centers in the Gaza Strip,” a military statement said.

The operations included “complex battles in densely populated areas” during which “many terrorists were killed by soldiers” and hundreds of weapons were uncovered, Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said.

“As part of the operation, and following advanced intelligence information (…), they uncovered a strategic tunnel network that served as Hamas headquarters in northern Gaza,” the army said in a statement.

The IDF said the bodies of five hostages captured on Oct. 7, who had been returned to their families for proper burial, were found in the tunnel system under the Jabalia camp.

The remains of Eden Zacharia and Elia Toledano, kidnapped from the Supernova festival, and soldiers Ziv Dado, Ron Sherman and Nik Beizer had been recovered in recent weeks, but the IDF had not said exactly where in Gaza they were found.

According to the IDF, the underground base in Jabalia included two levels: the first about ten meters deep, and the second dozens of meters deep.

“The network of tunnels, with numerous routes, was used to direct the fighting and movement of terrorists. Weapons, weapons manufacturing infrastructure and emergency shelters were found in the depths of the military quarters,” a military statement said.

The network was connected to a well that led to the residence of Hamas Northern Brigades commander Ahmad Andur, and also passed under a school and a hospital.

At the end of the mission, forces dismantled the Jabalia underground headquarters as “part of the effort to combat Hamas’ tunnel infrastructure and target its senior commanders and strategic capabilities,” the military spokesman said.

“These efforts are ongoing and are now being carried out in Khan Yunis and the southern Gaza Strip,” he added. EFE sga/ics

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