IDF Discovers 700 Tunnel Shafts In Rafah, Including 50 That Cross Into Egypt
NORTHERN GAZA, GAZA - JANUARY 07: Israeli soldiers secure a tunnel that Hamas reportedly used on October 7th to attack Israel through the Erez border crossing on January 07, 2024 in Northern Gaza. As the IDF have pressed into Gaza as part of their campaign to defeat Hamas, they have highlighted the militant group's extensive tunnel network as emblematic of the way the group embeds itself and its military activity in civilian areas.
Noam Galai / Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have discovered hundreds of tunnel shafts inside the Hamas stronghold of Rafah in southern Gaza, including dozens of tunnels that cross into Egypt.

Israeli Deputy Attorney General Gilad Noam made the revelation while speaking at the International Court of Justice.

“Rafah, in particular, is a focal point for ongoing terrorist activity. It is a stronghold for Hamas’ operators with several battalions belonging to the Rafah brigades entrenched in the area,” he said. “Also present in Rafah is an intricate underground tunnel infrastructure that runs underneath the city and provides ample space for operators, command and control rooms, and military equipment.”

“Nearly 700 tunnel shafts have been identified in Rafah from which approximately 50 tunnels cross into Egypt,” he continued. “These tunnels are used by Hamas to supply itself with weapons and ammunition. It could potentially be used to smuggle out of Gaza hostages or Hamas senior operators.”


Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal, noted that Israel has been very patient with Egypt while Egypt has been playing “spoiler during this crisis.”


“After Cairo refused to let in Palestinian refugees — a temporary measure that would have shortened the Gaza war — Jerusalem assented to the positioning of heavy Egyptian reinforcements in the supposedly demilitarized Sinai to seal off the Rafah border,” Truzman said. “And all the Israelis have got in return has been vitriol and, most recently, Egyptian support for the foul allegations being leveled against them at The Hague. President Sisi is supposed to be a pragmatist rather than a populist. This cannot continue.”

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