Israel-Hamas war: IDF blasts Hamas terror tunnel under Gaza hospital

The IDF on Wednesday utilized explosives to destroy a network of strategic tunnels multiple kilometers long beneath and around Rantisi Hospital and the nearby Ramaz Fahrah School in northern Gaza.

Some of the tunnel shafts descended dozens of meters, with the tunnel under the school descending 20 meters, including an elevator and significant electrical connections and capabilities for use as a command center. 

On November 13, IDF Spokesman R.-Adm. Daniel Hagari revealed Hamas’s underground command center under the Rantisi Hospital, which not only contained suicide vests, rocket-propelled grenades, and a variety of weapons but also signs, such as baby bottles, that Hamas had held Israeli hostages there.

How elite IDF intelligence units uncovered the Rantisi tunnel network

At some later date, intelligence collected by interrogations of Hamas forces performed by IDF Unit 504 led to the military discovering the tunnel under the school, which hooked up with the tunnel network under Rantisi.

Further, tunnels led between the school and another nearby school, and tunnels from Rantisi hooked up with other parts of Gaza City, including with the hidden headquarters of Hamas’s naval commander.

Israeli military spokesperson R.-Adm. Daniel Hagari shows what he says is the house of a senior Hamas naval commander located next to a school at a location given as Gaza, in this still image taken from video released November 13, 2023 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

The IDF’s Yahalom and Unit 14 Engineering units worked on exposing the full extent of the tunnel network as well as planning its destruction.

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In order to take over the Rantisi area, Brigades 401 and 460, along with navy seals Shayetet 13, had previously killed dozens of Hamas terrorists.

IDF claims evidence of Rantisi Hospital’s use on October 7

Back in mid-November, Hagari said there was evidence and independent separate intelligence that Hamas terrorists had returned directly to Rantisi Hospital after their attacks and mass murders of Israelis on October 7.

He also noted that an IDF robot found additional terror tunnels, including electricity being siphoned off from the hospital for use by the terrorists underground.

A video showed the basement of the hospital, which showed a location disconnected from the rest of the hospital where the significant terror explosives and armaments were kept.

IDF reveals more evidence of terror infrastructure housed at Gaza’s Rantisi Hospital (Credit: IDF)

Hagari showed a motorcycle with a bullet hole inside it and items connected to one of the hostages in the vicinity of the motorcycle.

One of the chairs showed ropes and other items indicating that a hostage had been held there.

A baby bottle and other baby materials were found, which the IDF said were connected to a hostage baby.

There were also improvised toilets, which Hagari said was infrastructure to hold hostages.

A list on a board marked the days since October 7, possibly indicating when the terrorists left, likely with hostages.

He said he was not sure if the terrorists used the evacuation to escape or used additional networks of underground tunnels.