Beneath the Gaza Strip lies a network of tunnels, some stretching hundreds of kilometers, employed by HAMAS, posing a significant challenge for Israeli special forces in the region.
One of the primary concerns for Israel's ground forces in Gaza, as highlighted by experts, is the extensive network of HAMAS tunnels, which can run hundreds of kilometers in length and reach depths of up to 80 meters, as reported by Sarbaz.kz.
According to sources familiar with the matter from Western and Middle Eastern regions, HAMAS employs various types of tunnels, including those for attacks, smuggling, storage, and operational purposes, spanning across the 360 sq. km area of Gaza and its borders. American analysts and officials believe that Israeli special forces will encounter an unprecedented challenge in trying to secure these tunnels while avoiding harm to hostages held underground.
"They began to say that they destroyed 100 kilometers of HAMAS tunnels. I'm telling you: the extent of the tunnels we have in the Gaza Strip exceeds 500 kilometers. Even if their account is accurate, they have only destroyed 20% of the tunnels," stated Yahya al-Sinwar, the HAMAS leader in Gaza, following the Israeli Defense Forces' (IDF) operations in 2021.
Nonetheless, it cannot be said that the Israeli army is ill-prepared for battles in confined spaces. During recent international exhibitions in Kielce and Seoul, the Rafael company introduced two solutions that can assist soldiers in combat in enclosed environments, including tunnels.