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IDF senior officer says Rafah tunnels ‘have no end’

June 20, 2024 at 12:21 pm

Soldiers with Israel’s Nahal Brigade take part in a military exercise in the in the Hula Valley in northern Israel on 10 July 2023 [JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images]

The commander of the Israel Defence Forces elite Nahal Brigade has said that, “Rafah is full of tunnels, which seem to have no end,” Israeli media outlets reported on Wednesday.

“There is almost no house without a tunnel, which constitutes the greatest challenge for the army,” explained Colonel Yair Zuckerman. “The tunnels connect the city’s houses, forming one vast maze.” He pointed out that his soldiers have found seventeen tunnels in Rafah in the past few days alone.

Referring to an incident last week in which four soldiers were killed when a bomb exploded in a house believed to be free of explosives, Zuckerman said: “The houses are booby-trapped with wired explosives that can be detonated remotely. This is a different kind of battlefield, where soldiers fight above and below the ground.”

The fighting, he admitted, is “strenuous and slow.” Hamas fighters have planted many cameras in Rafah to manage the battle from above and below the ground, the senior officer added.

READ: Israel displaces hundreds more Palestinians from Rafah