In this DW News update, we delve into the intensifying conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Defense Minister Yuav Galan announces a significant escalation, with troops operating in the heart of Gaza City. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adds pressure on Hamas, linking fuel deliveries to the release of over 200 hostages captured on October 7th.
The ground operation involves close combat and urban warfare, particularly in densely populated Gaza City, where Hamas’s extensive tunnel system is believed to be concentrated. The Israeli military aims to rid the strip of Hamas influence, but the operation comes at a high cost, with civilian casualties expected to rise.
As the conflict enters its next phase, a special unit named “yahalom” takes on the challenging task of locating and destroying the intricate tunnel network. Military expert Frank Ledwidge provides insights into the complexity of Hamas’s tunnel system, which has been described as a vast “Gaza Metro” constructed over two decades.
Israel employs various methods, including bunker buster bombs and the yahalom unit, to counter the tunnels. However, the safety of hostages remains a top priority, with the Israelis relying on human intelligence and tunnel maps to ensure precision in their operations.
Despite overwhelming support for the war among Israelis, there is mounting anger at the government and Prime Minister Netanyahu for perceived security lapses. The conflict has now surpassed a month, and as the situation unfolds, questions arise about the effectiveness of the government’s strategy and the impact on both Israeli and Palestinian societies.
Stay tuned for more updates on this evolving situation as we closely examine the tactics and challenges in the underground war between Israel and Hamas.