Behind enemy lines: How IDF destroyed Gaza tunnels that held hostage bodies

The IDF announced on Thursday that troops from the 98th Division had dismantled and destroyed terror tunnels in Jabalya, which held the bodies of hostages killed on October 7.

Over the past few weeks, the IDF recovered multiple bodies from Hamas terror tunnels, which are present throughout the Strip.

Seven hostages were rescued in joint operations by the IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) from the now-destroyed tunnel, including Shani Louk, Amit Buskila, Ron Benjamin, Yitzchak Gelernter, Hanan Yablonka, Michel Nisenbaum, and Orion Hernandez.

The IDF confirmed that all of them had been killed on October 7, and their bodies had been abducted by Hamas.

Security forces working to destroy Hamas tunnel infrastructure in Gaza, May 7, 2024. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

IDF intelligence and operational units worked to confirm that there were no more hostages in the tunnel before giving the order to destroy it.

Destroying tunnels

A number of tunnels have been destroyed by the IDF over the past week. One 800-meter-long tunnel that passed IDF positions was destroyed on Monday; in the tunnel, troops found caches of Kalashnikovs, mortar shells and other military equipment.

Many of the tunnels have been in the Jabalya area, which has been a persistent stronghold for Hamas with several raids and attacks by Hamas fighters being launched against IDF troops from tunnels in the city.