Israeli forces reportedly destroyed a massive underground weapons hub used by Hamas to manufacture rockets before ferrying them around the Gaza Strip.
The 36th division uncovered dozens of tunnels divided into workshops to build missiles underneath the vicinity of Salah al-Din road in central Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.
Footage released by a journalist from The Times of Israel embedded with the military and taken on a tour of the sprawling subterranean structures earlier this month showed what appeared to be dozens of rockets mounted on workbenches and lined up along a number of different tunnel walls.
In other parts of the underground network, manufacturing equipment could be seen behind blast doors, along with trolleys seemingly used to transport munitions.
Hamas were said to have used the hub to distribute weapons to fighters across the Gaza Strip.
One of the tunnels uncovered led into the home of a senior Hamas official responsible for weapons production, the IDF said.
The IDF said that in addition to “hundreds of long-range rockets”, troops seized chemical containers, Hamas propaganda, and other equipment during their raid on the underground network, which is thought to stretch for hundreds of miles in its entirety.
Some of the tunnels shown to Israeli reporters earlier this month were located underneath the central area of al-Bureij. Others were reportedly found in the vicinity of Maghazi and Nuseirat.
The IDF did not disclose the exact location of the tunnels.
Separate aerial footage released by the Times of Israel reporter showed Israeli troops blowing up the underground passages.
Until last month, Hamas’s tunnel network, nicknamed the Gaza Metro, was assessed to stretch for some 250 miles beneath the enclave.
But senior Israeli defence officials this week said estimates had been revised upwards in light of recent discoveries, with the system now thought to be between 350 and 450 miles in length.
The Gaza Strip itself is only estimated to be around 25 miles long and six miles wide.
The revision came as the terror group continued to target Israel, despite the IDF’s extensive efforts to destroy its infrastructure.
Earlier this week, a town in the south of Israel saw its worst missile barrage from Gaza in weeks, and more attacks were reported on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Israel’s defence minister admitted on Thursday that the government was under no illusions about being able to gain complete control of the entirety of the enclave any time soon.
Yoav Gallant said Hamas’s “main organisational frameworks” had been dismantled, but he added there were still “pockets of resistance”.
He added the terror group was now unable to launch hundreds of rockets at Israel as it had during its Oct 7 onslaught, but retained the capacity to fire off smaller salvos.
“We will deal with airstrikes, it will take time,” Mr Gallant said.