The ‘Gaza metro’: The mysterious subterranean tunnel network used by Hamas
The Gaza Metro, or “Metro Tunnel Network,” is an underground tunnel system located between the Gaza Strip and Egypt that is used by Hamas, the Palestinian militant organization that governs the Gaza Strip. The tunnel network dates back to 2006 when Hamas first took control of the region, and has since become an essential tool for the militant group’s economy, military, and diplomatic efforts. The Gaza Metro is made up of several hundred tunnels that stretch for dozens of miles and allow Hamas to move weapons and other goods into the Gaza Strip, circumvent the Israeli-Egyptian blockade, and move people clandestinely. The tunnel system also serves as a form of underground trade route connecting Gaza to Egypt.
Hamas has used the tunnels to smuggle in weapons, supplies, and equipment for its military operations, as well as money, food, medicine, and other goods for its population. The tunnels also reportedly serve as a way to move money into and out of Gaza and as an escape route during armed conflicts with Israel.
The tunnels have been cited as one of the primary reasons for Hamas’s success in military engagements with Israel, as they have allowed the group to resupply and maintain its military presence during times of conflict. Additionally, the tunnels have allowed Hamas to build up a complex network of underground infrastructure in the region, helping it to establish a measure of stability.
The Gaza Metro is highly controversial, as it has been used to smuggle in weapons and other contraband that could lead to further conflict between the Israeli government and Hamas. As such, the tunnels have been frequently targeted by Israel during its military operations in the Gaza Strip.