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War in Israel: 20% of Hamas tunnels under Gaza Strip destroyed

War in Israel: 20% of Hamas tunnels under Gaza Strip destroyed Photo: Israel destroyed 20% of Hamas tunnels under the Gaza Strip (GettyImages)

Israel has stated that it is targeting hospitals and other key infrastructure objects to seize tunnels, reports WSJ.

According to the Israelis, disabling tunnels, some of which are up to 300 miles (almost 483 km) in length, will deprive Hamas of secure storage for weapons and ammunition, hiding places for militants, command and control centers for its leadership, and the ability to maneuver within the territory.

Israel has attempted to destroy the tunnels using various methods, including flooding them with water from the Mediterranean Sea, demolishing them with airstrikes and specialized explosives, conducting searches with dogs and robots, destroying entrances, and conducting raids with highly trained soldiers.

It is difficult to accurately assess the level of tunnel destruction because the exact length of the existing tunnels is unknown. According to estimates by Israeli and U.S. military officials, 20% to 40% of the tunnels have been damaged or disabled. Most of them are located in the northern Gaza Strip.

"Israel has units that specialize in clearing tunnels but many of those troops are engineers trained to destroy them, not search for hostages and top Hamas leaders. In particular, more troops are needed to clear the tunnels," said U.S. officials.

"In addition, Israel’s primary war aims—killing or capturing top Hamas leaders and rescuing the roughly 100 remaining hostages—are, at times, at odds," added U.S. officials.

Earlier, it was reported that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) discovered the bodies of five deceased captives in underground tunnels belonging to Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip.

The IDF has been further expanding its operations in the southern Gaza Strip, particularly targeting the underground infrastructure of Hamas.