How many Hamas tunnels Israel has destroyed?

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 3:23 am

On October 7 of last year, the Palestinian independence organization Hamas launched a sudden attack by entering the border of Israel. Israel then launched a counter-attack on Gaza. Israeli forces have been invading there for six months.

1,200 people were killed and hundreds of people were taken hostage in the attack by Hamas in Israel. Israel launched the campaign vowing to crush and destroy Hamas. The invasion was carried out so that Hamas could no longer pose a threat and so that Israel could bring home all its hostages.

33 thousand 175 people have been killed in Gaza so far in this Israeli attack. Most of them are women and children. Besides, another 75 thousand 886 people were injured. Much of Gaza has been destroyed.

Israel has since said it has killed thousands of Hamas fighters and destroyed a vast network of tunnels under Gaza, which Hamas was using to launch attacks.

BBC Verify has verified Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) public statements and social media posts, and verified claims made by Israel as a state.

How many Hamas leaders have been killed?

In a recent statement, Israel’s military said they had killed about 13,000 members of Hamas after launching an attack on Gaza. However, it did not say how this number was determined. Israel is also releasing the list of names of the dead Hamas leaders.

According to Israel, the names of 113 Hamas leaders have been added to that list since last October. Most of them were killed within the first three months of the conflict. However, from the beginning of this year until March, Israel did not disclose the news of the death of any Hamas leader. Last March 26, they reported that Marwan Isa, the deputy head of Hamas’s military wing, was killed.

Marwan Issa is believed to be on Israel’s ‘most wanted’ list. He is the most senior Hamas leader killed in an Israeli strike since the start of the ongoing conflict. The United States also believes that Jesus was killed. However, it has not yet been confirmed by Hamas.

Before October 7, Hamas was believed to have had about 30,000 fighters in Gaza, according to a report citing IDF commanders.

Many of Hamas’ senior political figures, such as Ismail Haniyeh, who is believed to be the leader of the armed group, live abroad. But many of its military leadership structures are believed to be inside Gaza.

Meanwhile, the BBC has not been able to fully verify the authenticity of the list of dead Hamas leaders published by Israel. For example, there is one named Mustafa Thuraya in the list. He was working as a journalist in Gaza. Besides, many names appear in the list more than once. So the BBC has omitted several names from the list.

In addition, the political leader of Hamas, Saleh Al-Arouri, was killed in an explosion near Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, last January. It is believed that Israel was behind the explosion. A number of top Hamas leaders may still be alive in Gaza, including Yahya Sinwar, according to several experts the BBC spoke to.

How many Hamas tunnels have been destroyed?

One of Israel’s pledges at the start of the October 7 offensive was to destroy the extensive network of tunnels used by Hamas in Gaza. According to Hamas, their network of tunnels in Gaza is 500 kilometers. However, it was not possible to verify the authenticity of this information.

The BBC asked Israeli forces how many Hamas tunnels in Gaza had been destroyed. In response, they said a large part of the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza had been destroyed.

Israeli forces occasionally release information about tunnels found in Gaza. For example, they released video of the network of tunnels found under Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City last November. Israel claims that the tunnel was used as an office of Hamas.

How many hostages are there in Gaza?

According to Israeli official statistics, 253 people were taken hostage on 7 October. Of these, 109 were released as part of prisoner exchanges or in separate deals. The Israeli army directly rescued three people in a military operation. The bodies of 12 hostages were recovered, three of whom Israel admitted were killed in the IDF operation. Among the hostages confirmed to be still alive, the youngest is 18 and the oldest is 85.

At least 34 of the remaining 129 hostages died, Israel said. Hamas said the number of dead hostages was higher due to IDF airstrikes. But the truth of these allegations is not available.

Ariel and Kefir are the two youngest hostages taken by Hamas in the attack.
One of them was four years old and the other just nine months old at the time of abduction. Their deaths were reported but could not be confirmed.

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