The Hamas tunnel that the Israeli army revealed under Gaza City's Al-Shifa Hospital is one of many in the terrorist organization's vast network, said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an IDF spokesman.
"This is just one of the many, many long kilometers of tunnels that Hamas has invested in over the course of the last 16 years," Lerner said on Newmax's "National Report."
Lerner said that in the very poor conditions in which the Palestinians live, the terror tunnels built by Hamas, which is the ruling authority there, are the "most expensive construction project ever to exist in the Gaza Strip, all at the expense of the people of Gaza."
After describing the details of the sophisticated tunnel, including that it is some 10 meters deep under ground, Lerner said "this is how they have built extensively their tools of death and terror throughout the Gaza Strip, and we have been finding it everywhere we proceed, everywhere we advance."
Lerner also noted the reality that the Israeli army faces is that hospitals are "being used as a base of operations for terrorist activities."
Lerner said the Israeli army found weapons and other military equipment in the tunnel, even though Hamas knew the IDF was on its way and almost assuredly tried to cover its tracks, leading the army to believe that as it presses its attack forward it will discover more evidence of weapons in other tunnels.
Lerner also said that while negotiations over the fate of the hostages are being handled on the diplomatic front, Israel remains steadfast.
"The army is very, very much focused on advancing our military activities in order to achieve our objectives of dismantling and destroying Hamas to make sure that they can never do this again," he said.
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Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.
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