As speculation continues that Israel will send ground troops to the Gaza Strip to destroy the Palestinian armed political faction Hamas, a huge underground tunnel that could become Hamas’ last line of resistance is attracting attention. According to CNN
on the 15th (local time), the Gaza Strip in Palestine is famous for its many underground tunnels used to smuggle goods from neighboring Egypt or attack Israel. However, the Israeli military has said that there is another underground tunnel network built by Hamas, the so-called ‘Gaza Metro’. The story is that a huge underground maze up to several kilometers deep has been built to avoid the surveillance of Israeli military reconnaissance planes and drones, and has been used to transport personnel and materials, and to equip weapons such as rockets and command and control facilities to attack Israel. In relation to this, Hamas also claimed that the total length of this tunnel will reach 500 km in 2021. If true, it is close to 1.5 times the size of the Seoul subway, which has a total length of 350 km. Because Israel has been blockading the Gaza Strip since 2007, when Hamas took control, Hamas appears to have built such a tunnel using only basic materials and without heavy equipment. Israel has long accused Hamas of diverting concrete brought in for civilian or humanitarian purposes to build underground tunnels.
Some have also raised criticism that Hamas is only focusing on building tunnels while ignoring the construction of air raid shelters and early warning systems to protect Palestinian residents from Israeli military air raids. However, CNN evaluated that
such tunnels have become a very attractive tool for Hamas, which has no choice but to resort to asymmetric tactics such as guerrilla warfare in order to deal with the Israeli military, which has an overwhelming superiority in military power. For similar reasons, al-Qaeda, an Islamic extremist militant group, built underground tunnels in mountainous areas of Afghanistan in the past, and during the Vietnam War (1955-1975), North Vietnam used large-scale tunnels and achieved significant results. However, unlike past cases, what makes Hamas’ underground tunnels a particularly impenetrable fortress is that the facility is located underground in one of the most densely populated areas in the world. CNN emphasized that nearly 2 million residents live in Gaza City, the central city of the Gaza Strip, and the surrounding areas. “Tunnels are always difficult to deal with, in any situation, but in urban areas, everything becomes more complicated,” said Daphne Richemont-Barak, an expert on underground tactics at Reichmann University in Israel. In fact, Israel, which killed about 1,500 people in a surprise attack by Hamas on the 7th of this month, said that Hamas was “hiding in tunnels under buildings and houses in Gaza City, where innocent civilians live,” and that Gaza residents were de facto “human shields.” It has been condemned for being used as ‘.
Even under such circumstances, Israel continued targeted airstrikes to eliminate Hamas.
As a result, at least 2,670 Palestinians died as of the 15th, according to health authorities in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Israel is expected to attempt to destroy underground tunnels in the Gaza Strip if it deploys ground troops this time, as it did when it waged a large-scale all-out war against Hamas in 2014.
On the 13th, the United Nations advised the 1.1 million northern residents of the Gaza Strip to leave Gaza City and evacuate to the south, but it was reported that some residents were blocked by Hamas and were unable to evacuate.
Professor Richemont-Barrac pointed out that even if all civilians were evacuated, destroying the underground tunnel would not be easy.
Bombing with aircraft is the most efficient way메이저사이트, but it is difficult to choose this because there are 199 hostages kidnapped and held by Hamas in Israel, and it is difficult to deploy troops inside due to risks such as ambushes and booby traps.
Meanwhile, related countries are busy taking diplomatic action to prevent Israel’s deployment of ground troops due to concerns about serious civilian casualties.
U.S. President Joe Biden is reported to be considering a visit to Israel, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is also reported to be visiting Israel on the 17th. The Arab League ( AU
) , which consists of Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, issued a joint statement with the African Union ( AL ), which includes 55 African countries, urging Israel to withdraw its ground war plan.