Swallowed by ‘Gaza subway’ – Tehran Times

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TEHRAN- Tunnels built by the Hamas resistance group in the Gaza Strip have turned into the graveyard for Israeli forces.

The tunnel network, which Israel has dubbed the “Gaza Metro”, is effectively operating despite the regime’s claims of destroying a large part of it.

Hamas says it has built 500 kilometers (311 miles) worth of tunnels under the Gaza Strip.

The efficiency of the tunnels came to light during fighting between Hamas fighters and Israeli forces in the Jabalia camp in northern Gaza.

The military wing of the resistance group released a video of the fighting on Sunday saying its fighters have captured and killed an unidentified number of Israeli soldiers after luring them into a tunnel. 

“Our fighters lured a Zionist force into an ambush inside a tunnel … The fighters withdrew after they left all members of the force dead, wounded, and captured,” Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for Al Qassam Brigades, said in a recorded message. 

The footage shows an Israeli soldier being dragged along the ground in a tunnel and photos of military fatigue and rifles. 

The ambush carried out by Hamas fighters highlights Israel’s false claims about destroying Hamas tunnels in Gaza and defeating the group in northern Gaza.

Citing US intelligence, Politico reported last week that about 65 percent of Hamas tunnels are still intact. 

Ex-Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has told public broadcaster KAN that there is no chance “to achieve complete victory or the complete destruction of Hamas”.Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari claimed in early January this year that the regime had dismantled Hamas’s command network in northern Gaza and killed around 8,000 resistance fighters in that area. 

Israel launched war on the Gaza Strip after Hamas carried out a surprise military operation in southern Israel on October 7.

More than 1,100 people were killed and about 250 others were taken captive during the Hamas operation. More than 100 captives were released in a swap deal in November last year.

Israel’s brutal onslaught on Gaza has claimed the lives of about 36,000 Palestinians. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stressed that achieving “total victory and destroying” Hamas as well as returning captives are the main goals of the Israeli army. 

Soon after Israel declared war on Gaza it ordered Palestinians in the north of the territory to evacuate to southern areas including Khan Younis and Rafah. Consequently, more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population were crammed into Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city on the border with Egypt. 

On May 7, Israel also launched a ground offensive in Rafah. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have fled the city. 

Defying mounting international outrage over the humanitarian crisis in Rafah, Israel is expanding its assault under the pretext of defeating Hamas fighters. 

But revelations by the US intelligence community and the Israeli military’s intelligence have indicated that the regime is incapable of destroying Hamas. 

Wishful thinking 

Earlier this month, a top American official said the administration of President Joe Biden doesn’t believe Israel’s current strategy in Gaza will lead to “total victory”.

“Sometimes when we listen closely to Israeli leaders, they talked about mostly the idea of some sort of sweeping victory on the battlefield, total victory. I don’t think we believe that that is likely or possible,” Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said as he spoke at the NATO Youth Summit in Miami.

Nearly eight months into the Gaza war, Israel has met none of its objectives.

Kurt Campbell, the US State Department’s number two official: The Biden administration doesn’t believe Israel’s current strategy against Hamas will lead to “total victory”.Likewise, protests against Israel’s war on Gaza continue unabated inside Israel and across the globe. 

Furthermore, cracks are widening within the Israeli establishment amid growing discord between Netanyahu, war minister Yoav Gallant and war cabinet minister Benny Gantz over a postwar plan for Gaza. 

Moreover, Israel’s international isolation is deepening. 

On Friday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), issued a dramatic ruling, ordering Israel to “immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah”.

A week ago, the International Criminal Court said it was seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity over the Gaza war. 

In coordinated announcements, Spain, Norway and Ireland also unveiled plans to formally recognize a Palestinian state on May 28.

Such developments along with Hamas’ fresh military operations against the Israeli army indicate that Netanyahu’s absolute victory dream has been turned into an abject failure for his regime. 

Israel’s defeats at the hands of Palestinian resistance have also taught Palestinians a historic lesson. They have realized that negotiations with Israel will only help the regime prolong the occupation of their lands and continue its horrible crimes in the Palestinian territories. 

This lesson highlights the importance of collective action and perseverance in the face of adversity. Palestinian people are now completely sure that resistance and resilience is a proactive effort to reclaim their lands and their rights.

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