IDF finds Hamas tunnels under UN HQ in Gaza: report

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) reportedly discovered tunnels underneath the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) headquarters in Gaza that were allegedly controlled by Hamas, according to the Associated Press. The UN agency claims to help Palestinian refugees.  

This follows recent reports that at least a dozen UNRWA employees participated in the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel and that 10 percent of its employees have direct links to terrorist groups in the region. 

The Israeli military says that Hamas terrorists used the tunnel underneath the agency to access the UNRWA headquarters’ electrical supply. 

On Thursday, journalists were invited to tour the tunnel and found that a portion of the tunnel ran underneath the UNRWA's courtyard in Gaza City.  

Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the UNRWA, claimed that the agency had no knowledge of the tunnels and insisted that they would be launching an independent investigation into the claim. He also claims to have never seen the tunnels or electrical supply room in the UN facility. 

"UNRWA is a human development and humanitarian organisation that does not have the military and security expertise nor the capacity to undertake military inspections of what is or might be under its premises," said Lazzarini in the statement, according to the outlet. 

A reporter with the Associated Press toured the tunnel and detailed their findings. 

Journalists entered one of the UNRWA buildings and observed a computer room with cables extending into the ground. IDF soldiers then led them to a room within the underground passageway where the cables allegedly connected. 

The underground space included a wall of electrical cabinets adorned with buttons in an array of colors and dozens of connecting cables. According to the Israeli military, the room functioned as a central center that supplied power to the tunnel infrastructure in the vicinity. 

IDF Lt. Col. Ido told the reporters during the tour: "Twenty meters above us is the UNRWA headquarters." 

"This is the electricity room, you can see all around here. The batteries, the electricity on walls, everything is conducted from here, all the energy for the tunnels which you walked through them are powered from here," said Ido. 

Furthermore, reporters observed a bathroom equipped with a faucet, a room furnished with shelves, and an area housing two small vehicles. IDF soldiers said they were utilized by Hamas to navigate the tunnel network. On Saturday, the Israeli military said that the tunnel ran 765 yards long and 20 yards deep and that that it began at a UNRWA school. 

According to the Israeli military, explosives, rifles, ammunition, explosives, and grenades were discovered in the facility that were used by Hamas terrorists.  

It has been a long established fact that Hamas operates in underground tunnels. The Palestinian terrorist group has acknowledged this. 

Israeli forces said that Hamas used the tunnels as a network to transport personnel, supplies, and weaponry across the territory. Destroying it has been one of the primary goals of the IDF.  

The UNRWA facility has since by taken by the IDF and had significant damage in the crossfire of Israel's war against Hamas. Since staff evacuated on October 12, the agency has not revisited the headquarters, according to Lazzarini, who stated it is unknown how the facility may have been utilized since that time.


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