What is this network of tunnels dug by Hamas that is a “primary strategic element” for Palestinian militants?

It is a network of tunnels dug by Hamas across Gaza, from urban areas to rural areas, which the Israeli armed forces call the “metro”.

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Hamas has actually dug and continues to dig tunnels under major cities in the area. “These are mainly underground networks that allow militants to move from one area to anotherSven Bischop, professor at Ghent University and director of the Europe in the World program at the Egmont Institute, explains. These tunnels connect over several kilometers and have provided valuable tools for victory during conflicts in the past. Some routes allow direct access to Israeli soil..

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For many experts, the network of tunnels dug by Hamas is also its main security tool. The Islamist movement also uses it to shelter its fighters in underground military installations that are Israel’s favorite targets in the conflict.


Fighters are installed up to 40 meters underground and can go out of range of enemy attacks.

A primitive strategic element

Fighters are installed there up to 30 or 40 meters underground, thus moving out of range of strikes. Rocket launcher batteries hidden a few meters deep can emerge through a hatch system to fire before hiding again.

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“Initially, these tunnels were useful in the context of transporting goods into the territory, which was able to cross the Gaza Strip from Egypt and Israel.He mentions. And little by little, they became a primary strategic component for Palestinian militants. Definitively, fighter jets are installed up to 40 meters underground and can move out of range of enemy attacks..

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For its part, Hamas says it knows “His Mines by Heart”, Colin Clark, director of research at the Soufan Center in New York, explained to AFP. “Some may be trapped. Get ready to fight in such a terrain […] A detailed understanding is required […]This is not the case with Israelis.

For Hamas, this is an advantage that can also prove to be a trap. “When we find tunnels, we can lock those inside. In this case the instruction will be ‘no foot.’ Amelie Ferri, a researcher at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) said: From FrancinfIt is through these tunnels that goods are transported from foreign countries. Since 2005 and Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Hamas has also secretly imported weapons from its allies Iran and Syria.

As the conflict between Hamas and the Jewish state escalates, tunnels dug by the Palestinian Islamist movement are a prime target for the Israeli military. Already in 2017, an official report accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli military of having poorly prepared the country for this “strategic” threat during the 2014 conflict.

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