Israeli troops in northern Gaza have discovered a Hamas tunnel hidden underneath a child’s bed.
Soldiers told The Times of Israel that the tunnel had been found during the search of a house.
“They use a children’s room to hide a tunnel, below a child’s bed… This is the reality,” an Israeli soldier of the Combat Engineering Corps’ 614th Battalion said.
Hamas started building the labyrinthine underground system almost two decades ago, initially to bring goods into the besieged Gaza Strip and later for military purposes.
The tunnel under the child’s bedroom had two branches, said the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, one heading in the direction of the coast and the other going towards Gaza City, where Israel says Hamas has an underground headquarters.
‘We found them in playgrounds, and mosques’
Lt Col Adoniram, the commander of the 614th, said that the majority of tunnels found were within civilian sites.
“We encounter a lot of weapons, a lot of tunnels. Here you saw one under a children’s room. We found them in playgrounds, we found them in kindergartens, and in mosques. Tomorrow morning, someone will say ‘Why did they attack a mosque?’ This is why,” said the commander, whose surname was withheld by the IDF for security reasons.
The Israeli military has indicated that it does not plan to go into Hamas’s tunnel network but is instead demolishing entrances as it discovers them.
Israel says its troops have destroyed 130 tunnel entrances since the beginning of the war.
‘Death trap’ for soldiers
Last week, a retired general said Israel will in “no circumstances” send troops into Hamas tunnels in and around Gaza.
Yair Golan, a former IDF deputy chief of staff, warned the sprawling tunnel network would be a “death trap” for the IDF if soldiers entered them.
“The moment that we get to the tunnels, or regarding the tunnels we’ve already reached – they become a death trap for the enemy,” reserve Maj Gen Golan told Army Radio.
“The wisdom is to find the entrance and seal them, or send in smoke that will cause the enemy to come out and will harm them.”
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