ANI Photo | Israeli intelligence: Hamas spent ‘tens of millions’ on Gaza terror tunnels

A Hamas tunnel below the Gaza Strip discovered by Israeli military combat engineers (Photo/TPS)

Tel Aviv [Israel], January 12 (ANI/TPS): Hamas spent tens of millions of dollars, which were intended for the Gaza Strip, building underground terrorist infrastructure, the Israel Defence Forces said on Thursday evening, citing intelligence findings.
Hamas “opted to invest precious resources in building terrorist infrastructure used to harm Israeli civilians and IDF forces while cynically exploiting the civilian population in the Gaza Strip,” the military statement said.
An analysis of tunnel shafts discovered since the start of Israel’s ground operation in the coastal enclave last year shows that Hamas diverted at least 6,000 tonnes of concrete and 1,800 tonnes of metal to build “hundreds of kilometres” of underground infrastructure, according to the statement.
The IDF’s search for terror tunnels is aided by a trove of intelligence seized by soldiers, including 65 million digital files and half a million physical documents.
In some tunnels, soldiers found large sacks belonging to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The sacks were filled with sand, possibly intended to stabilise tunnels before concrete layers were added.
Earlier on Thursday, the IDF said it expanded its operations in the southern Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis in the past 24 hours, exposing a vast tunnel network used by the terrorist group to hold hostages.
“The tunnel was connected to an extensive underground tunnel network beneath a civilian area in the city,” the army said. “Millions of shekels are estimated to have been invested in excavating the tunnel and equipping it with air ventilation systems, electrical supply and plumbing.”
Following an investigation, the IDF confirmed that some Israeli hostages had been held captive in the tunnel. They were held in cages, some 60 feet underground, per a CNN report that cited Brig. Gen. Dan Goldfus, commander of the IDF’s 98th Division.
During his daily press briefing on Thursday evening, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the IDF spokesman, stressed the importance of bringing home the 136 hostages still held by Hamas.
“We will never let the world forget the hostages being held by Hamas since October 7. ‘Never again’ is our call to action. Because ‘Never again’ is now,” Hagari said.
“It is important to remember that we are fighting a just war like no other–a war that the enemy started by choice and knowingly, during which he committed crimes against humanity and cruel acts that the Western world has not seen for decades,” he added.
At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. The number of men, women, children, soldiers and foreigners held captive in Gaza by Hamas is now believed to be 136. Other people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains. (ANI/TPS)

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