According to the Israeli military and the Shin Bet, military operations in Gaza City in recent weeks have uncovered a “tunnel entrance” near a school run by a UN humanitarian agency.
According to Israel, over the past ten years, Hamas has dug numerous mines in the Gaza Strip where its fighters are hiding. In October, a study by the Modern War Institute of the American Academy at West Point identified 1,300 mines there along more than 500 km of underground corridors.
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“The entrance led to an underground terror tunnel that was a key asset for Hamas military intelligence and went under a building that served as UNRWA's main headquarters in the Gaza Strip,” the Israeli Ministry of Defense and Defense said in a statement.
The tunnel's “electrical infrastructure” – 700 meters long and located 18 meters underground – was “connected” to the agency's headquarters, they say, “indicating that ANRWA installations supplied electricity to the tunnel”.
They added that the stockpiles of documents and weapons at the UN compound “confirmed that the offices were also used by Hamas terrorists”.
UNRWA responded that its staff were forced to leave headquarters on instructions from Israeli forces as shelling intensified in the region.
Israeli minister calls for UNWRA chief to step down
After the discovery of a Hamas tunnel under UNRWA's headquarters in Gaza, UN aid for Palestinian refugees Israel's foreign minister on Saturday deemed it “imperative” for the organization's head to resign immediately.
“The UNRWA headquarters in Gaza found deep involvement with Hamas, particularly its use for terrorist activities and an entry point for Palestinian Islamist movement tunnels” that “requires immediate action,” he said.
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UN He said the “immediate resignation” of the organization's president, Filipe Lazzarini, was “essential.”
Unrwa, which Israel accuses of being “completely penetrated by Hamas”, is the main humanitarian aid organization in the Gaza Strip, in the grip of a severe humanitarian crisis due to the war triggered by Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7.
The UN agency insisted that Hamas had not occupied its headquarters since Oct. 12 — five days after the attack — and called for an independent investigation.
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