Israel, “Huge Hamas tunnel discovered near Erez crossing.” We are working on a new truce

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By John

Israel has discovered near the Erez crossing with the north of the Strip, an «enormous tunnel system that is divided into various branches with an extension of over 4 kilometers, reaches just 400 meters from the crossing itself, with a depth of 50 meters underground». The army announced this according to which the system is the result “of a project led by Muhammad Sinwar, brother of Yahya Sinwar”. The tunnel system – which played a role in the October 7 attack – “is wide enough for one vehicle” and is equipped with electrical and sewage systems and armored doors to block access.

The tunnel system was recently demonstrated to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. «Hamas – said military spokesman Richard Hecht – has deliberately and persistently invested enormous sums of money and resources in terror tunnels that have a single purpose: to attack Israel and its residents. This network of strategic tunnels, wide enough for vehicles to pass through, was led by Muhammad Sinwar and intentionally dug near a passageway dedicated to the movement of Gazans into Israel for work and medical care.” “For Hamas – he added – attacking the people of Israel continues to have priority over supporting the people of Gaza.” The Erez crossing – in non-war times – is the main exit and entry point from Gaza for Israel: in 2022 estimates speak of around 800 thousand residents of the Strip who will pass through the pass.

Hostage negotiations restart, “ready” for a truce

Citing two sources, the Wall Street Journal claims that the talks “are just the beginning” and that the process will be “long, difficult and complex.” The American newspaper adds that the head of the CIA, Bill Burns, and the Egyptian Minister of Intelligence, Abbas Kamel, have been informed of the Barnea-Al Thani meeting and are contributing to the renewed push for an agreement.
According to the Haaretz newspaper, Israel does not have high hopes for a new deal for the hostages, but things could change. The proposed new deal could include the release of elderly and sick men and remaining women and children in exchange for the release of key Palestinian prisoners, including those accused of killing Israelis in terrorist attacks.
Israel’s apparent renewed push for a deal comes after three escaped hostages, Yotam Haim, Samar Fouad Talalka and Alon Shamriz, were accidentally killed by IDF troops who were operating in Shejaiya, northern Gaza, on Friday morning.
The affair has shocked the country and Netanyahu now finds himself managing an escalation of indignation not only internally but also from the international community over the high number of Palestinian civilian victims, with raids in the Strip targeting schools, hospitals and places of worship.