SPECIAL REPORT: Jewish News on the ground inside Hamas’ largest Gaza terror tunnel

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SPECIAL REPORT: Jewish News on the ground inside Hamas’ largest Gaza terror tunnel

Our foreign editor gains access to the biggest terror tunnel discovered in northern Gaza, just 400 metres from the Erez border crossing with Israel.

Right: Jewish News' Jotam Confino in the Gaza Strip
Right: Jewish News' Jotam Confino in the Gaza Strip

It’s humid, dark and warm. I’m entering the largest Hamas tunnel discovered by the IDF in Gaza. It’s 50 metre deep, several kilometres long and looks most of all like a metro built for trains. 

The tunnel is highly advanced with electricity, a ventilation system and water pipes. The floor is equipped with what looks like railway tracks, which the IDF said was used to transport everything from military equipment to general goods.

The tunnel is a testament to the enormous efforts and money invested by Hamas in its underground terror networks which run across the Gaza Strip. According to the IDF, it was built by Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar’s brother, Muhammed.

When the IDF uncovered the tunnel last month, IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said it was “no ordinary tunnel. It’s a city. A terrorist city underground that Hamas dug and built instead of investing money in the residents of Gaza.”


Indeed it looks like a small city. Videos revealed by IDF showed Muhammed Sinwar driving a car in the tunnel.

“It’s a symbol of success because it’s so advanced,” IDF Maj. Doron Spielman told Jewish News right outside the tunnel.

As Spielman talks about the tunnel and its terror purposes, artillery fire from tanks sound in the background. While the IDF says it has largely taken control with northern Gaza, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists still appear sporadically in some areas, engaging in face to face battle with Israeli soldiers.

Spielman explained how Hamas and other terrorists used this tunnel to launch a surprise attack on the Erez border crossing with Israel, which is just 400 metres from where we stand.

Israeli soldiers inside a Hamas tunnel in Gaza. Credit: Jotam Confino

Human corridor 

Some 550,000 Palestinians crossed the Erez border in the first nine months of 2023. It served as Gaza’s lifeline in to Israel’s economy.

Some 18,000 Palestinians worked in Israel before October 7, often making ten times more money than they would in Gaza. But Hamas’ massive terror attack on put an end to it.

As we walk back toward the border crossing, several tanks drive past us. It’s hard to imagine how Hamas managed to breach one of the most secure border crossings in the world. Or at least, it used to be. October 7 revealed major gaps in Israel’s security.

The large, cemented border wall is showing clear signs of Hamas’ attack. And about 300 metre from there, the civil administration building lies in ruins.

The Erez border crossing’s civil administration building attacked by Hamas on October 7. Credit: Jotam Confino

This is where Hamas and other terrorists massacred both soldiers, civilians and administrative officials.

“We can see the soldiers tried to hide inside these protective areas,” Spielman said, pointing at bullet holes in the bomb-shelter like building just outside the large administrative central.

Israeli troops on the Gaza side of the border at the entrance to the tunnel.

The first sight that meets us when we enter the building is destruction. The floors are full of remnants from the roof. Each office is destroyed, some of which still has its hairs, computers, desks, and documents.

In two of the offices, pictures of President Isaac Herzog and IDF chief of staff Herzl Halevi still hang on the walls, seemingly without a scratch. It’s a stark contrast to the destruction in the rest of the room.

Jewish News was allowed access in to northern Gaza on Monday, embedded with the IDF and subject to military censorship. 

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