Hamas tunnel beneath Gaza HQ refutes Israeli claims by UNRWA

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Israeli claims by UNRWA, An official of the UN’s aid agency in Gaza has denied that the agency was aware of what lay beneath its abandoned headquarters, despite Israeli claims that there was a Hamas tunnel under the site where the agency’s headquarters was located in Gaza City.

Earlier in the day, Philippe Lazzarini, a director of UNRWA, admitted on Amazon’s X program late Saturday that the agency, which has its headquarters in Gaza, is unaware of what is under its roof. Several donors had withdrew funding from UNRWA due to its association with Hamas and its military operations, which led Israel to accuse UNRWA of operating in collusion with Hamas.

In an effort to gain access to the tunnel, the Israeli army invited journalists to investigate the site. This led to the UNRWA chief’s comments. Although it is impossible to prove for a certainty whether Hamas fighters operated at the location of the tunnel system, the Israeli military has demonstrated that at least part of it runs under the courtyard of the headquarters of the aid agency.

I call it the ‘metro’

It was reported that journalists had seen a room inside one of the buildings that was filled with computers that had wires that were reaching into the ground. Afterwards, soldiers admitted to them that the wires appeared to be connected in a room within an underground tunnel complex where they pointed them out.

Several rows of electrical cabinets were lining the inner walls of that underground room, along with a wall of multicolored buttons and a trail of cables that ran along the wall. There is no doubt that the military had used this room as a hub for powering tunnel infrastructure in the area, as per the military claims.

As Israel has repeatedly said, one of the main objectives of its war in Gaza is to destroy the underground network of tunnels that Hamas, according to Israel, has been using for the transportation of its fighters, weapons, and supplies to and from other places in the Gaza Strip.

It is believed that there are hundreds of kilometers of tunnels in the enclave, although some Israeli officials refer to the tunnel network as a “metro”, which crosses the entire enclave over many miles. Experts estimate that the depth of the lake may be between 15 metres and 60 metres (50 feet and 200 feet).


In the course of the claim for the tunnel, Israel seems to be following a pattern in which UNRWA is being implicated in Hamas’ military activities.

It goes without saying that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, also known as UNRWA, has been facing a crisis of funding after some of its major international donors, led by the United States, cut its funding due to allegations that UNRWA is financing terrorism in Gaza.

Azzarini insisted that UNRWA had no idea what was underneath its headquarters, which was vacated shortly after Israel began to bombard the Gaza Strip in early October, after it began bombarding the Gaza Strip with armies.

There has been a media report indicating there is a tunnel under UNRWA’s main office in Gaza, and UNRWA has been made aware of the report.

Aside from the fact that the reports merit an independent investigation, he added that due to the fact that Gaza is an active war zone, doing so is not possible at the moment.

UNRWA’s Lazzarini told a reporter that UNRWA staff left the headquarters on October 12, following an Israeli order to evacuate, and that they were not aware of any further activity that may have taken place there in the meantime.

It is the agency’s policy to inspect its premises once a quarter, he added, when there are no active conflicts on the ground.

According to him, the UNRWA is not a military organization, nor does it have the capability and expertise to conduct a military inspection over what may or may not be present under its premises, due to the fact that it is a human development and humanitarian organization.

Lazzarini said that in the past, when a suspicious cavity was found close to UNRWA’s premises or underneath UNRWA’s premises, protest letters were filed to Hamas officials and to Israeli authorities and the matter was “consistently reported” to the UN General Assembly.

As a result of Israel’s allegations that 11 of the UN’s people were involved in Hamas’ deadly attack on southern Israel last October 7, the UN agency, the only lifeline for more than two million Gazans, has been the subject of intense scrutiny.

Over 1,100 people were killed and about 240 people were taken hostage by Hamas fighters in an unprecedented attack that took place earlier this week. More than 28,000 people have been killed and almost 85 percent of the population have been displaced as a result of Israel’s ferocious bombing campaign.

The fact that UNRWA terminated the contracts of those accused by Israel of joining the attack, and launched an investigation into the incident, did not stop major donors from suspending their funding, which resulted in an acute financial crisis for the agency.

In addition to freezing Israel’s bank account, embargoing the shipping of aid and cancelling its tax benefits, the agency said that Israel has also frozen its bank account.

Timenews provided that news.

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