Wed 19 Jun 2024 11:28 am - Jerusalem Time

Israeli brigade commander: There are tunnels in every house in Rafah, and the battles are exhausting

The Jerusalem Post newspaper quoted the commander of the Nahal Brigade in the Israeli occupation army, Yair Zuckerman, as saying that there are tunnels in almost all the homes in the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, and that the progress of his forces is slow and the battles are exhausting.

Zuckerman said that during the past few days alone, his soldiers found 17 tunnels in Rafah, and that these tunnels connect the homes of the neighborhoods, forming a large maze, and that the city’s homes are connected to each other through openings in the walls.

The Israeli military commander explained, during an interview with The Jerusalem Post in Rafah, where he is managing the Israeli invasion of the city, that the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) is planting many cameras in Rafah to manage the battle from above and below the ground.

He said that among the challenges facing his forces is booby-trapping houses and rooms in the city before the Israeli forces enter them, and detonating them remotely, in what appears to be a comment on the killing of 4 Israeli soldiers last week in the bombing of a house that they thought was devoid of explosives, according to the newspaper.

"We fight inch by inch"

The Jerusalem Post said that Zuckerman showed the journalists - who were allowed by Israel to go to Rafah and conduct reports from there - a picture of an open closet door and behind it a hole in the concrete wall leading to the neighboring house.

Zuckerman said, "This is a different kind of battlefield," stressing that Israeli forces are fighting inch by inch in Rafah, and that "soldiers are fighting above and below the ground."

He added, "It is slow and painstaking, but the achievements are important."

The occupation army commander said that his forces found caches of weapons and missiles, some of which were long-range, stressing the need to give the Israeli army “sufficient time to complete its mission of disarmament in the region,” as he put it.

The newspaper indicated that Zuckerman did not want to talk about the time it would take for this disarmament “mission” that he spoke about, but the Israeli Channel 12 said on Wednesday that after about 40 days of fighting, the army is still far from achieving the tasks assigned to it in Rafah.

Since May 6, the Israeli army has launched a ground attack on Rafah, forcing more than a million Palestinians to flee in disastrous humanitarian conditions.


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Israeli brigade commander: There are tunnels in every house in Rafah, and the battles are exhausting