The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in a statement on Thursday said that it has destroyed a network of strategic tunnels multiple kilometers long beneath and around Rantisi Hospital in northern Gaza. It also said that the tunnel network passed near Rama’s Fahrah School in the same vicinity.
The IDF said that there was clear information that Hamas militants had reached the Rantisi hospital quickly after the October 7 massacre in southern Israel killing 1,200 people, injuring more than 3,000 and kidnapping 240. The IDF spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari had on November 13 in a press conference, shown media persons the visual footage of the tunnel network around and beneath the Rantisi hospital.
He has also said that the presence of material within the tunnel network indicated that some of the hostages kidnapped from Israel on October 7 were housed in this tunnel network. He cited examples of baby bottles and chairs with ropes present in the tunnel network.
The IDF in the statement said that some of these tunnel shafts descended dozens of meters, with the tunnel under the school descending 20 meters. An elevator and proper electrical connections and capabilities were used in the tunnel network and this has acted as a command centre for the Hamas militants.
Sources in the IDF told IANS that its Military Intelligence wing and Shin Bet had provided specific and precise information regarding the tunnel network around and beneath the Rantisi Hospital in northern Gaza. The information, according to sources, was gathered from the Hamas operators who were arrested earlier.