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Israeli Defense Forces Discover 20 Hostages Held in Inhumane Conditions in Gaza Tunnel

The Israeli Defense Forces discovered a tunnel in Khan Yunis where 20 hostages are being held in “severe inhumane conditions”. Among the evidence are drawings by a 5-year-old child, a former hostage of “Hamas”, reported The Times of Israel.

The length of the tunnel is about 830 meters, and its depth – about 20 meters. According to witness statements, about 20 people were held there at various times. They were without daylight, in thick air with little oxygen and terrible humidity that made breathing difficult, said Israel Defense Forces spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.

When they entered the tunnel, the Israeli military found no hostages. According to Hagari, some of them were released about 50 days ago, while others are still being held in Gaza, possibly in even worse conditions. Among them there are many elderly people who need medicine and help, bTV reports.

With the help of precise intelligence, the soldiers found an entrance to the huge network under the home of a Hamas commander in Khan Younis in Gaza, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said. Some of the hostages may have been moved by the terrorist group when the troops arrived. and have infiltrated the underground network.

According to Hagari, the soldiers were fighting Hamas fighters, who they killed in a shootout in the underground passage. “The tunnel was equipped with explosives and blast doors designed to protect the terrorists and prevent progress in finding our hostages.” , added Hagari.

The Israeli military discovered a central hall where, according to the testimonies of those returning from Gaza, the hostages spent most of their time. Among other evidence, drawings made by five-year-old Emilia Aloni, who was released in November, were found. Further down the tunnel, the soldiers found five narrow cells, each with a mattress and a toilet.

“Hamas has committed and continues to commit crimes against humanity by keeping innocent people, children, women, men, some sick, very elderly, in harsh and inhumane conditions,” added army spokesman Daniel Hagari.

Citing intelligence, the Israel Defense Forces also said that Hamas had invested millions of dollars in building the tunnel.

According to Hagari, all possible ways are being worked on so that the hostages can be returned home. “Our operational activity combines technology, special forces, assets and intelligence, which we are constantly improving,” he said.

105 people were freed from Hamas captivity during the week-long truce in late November. 132 hostages are believed to remain in Gaza, not all of them alive. Between 40 and 50 people are believed to be in Islamic Jihad, which could complicate their release.

Earlier, four hostages were freed and one was rescued by soldiers. The bodies of eight others were also found and three hostages were killed “by mistake” by the military. Israel confirmed the deaths of 27 of the hostages still being held by Hamas, citing new intelligence and findings. Another person has been reported missing since October 7 and his fate is still unknown.

According to a report on Tuesday, senior Israeli defense officials now believe that Hamas’ tunnel network in Gaza is 350-450 miles long, much longer than previously thought.

According to The New York Times, there are about 250 miles of Hamas tunnels under the Gaza Strip, given that the enclave has a total area of ​​only about 140 square miles.

2024-01-26 14:03:00
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