The Israeli army destroys a huge tunnel network belonging to Hamas extending under the Gaza Strip: officials

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The Israeli military has leveled a mile-long section of one of the largest known Hamas tunnel networks running under the Gaza Strip, officials said.

Members of the elite Yahalom unit and combat engineers from the 162nd Division blew up a large portion of a more than 7-mile-long tunnel located in central Gaza, the Israeli military said Sunday.

Dramatic video shows the moment the trigger was pulled, causing a mile-long plume of smoke to erupt from the ground as the tunnel system collapsed.

The Israeli army has destroyed a mile-long section of one of the largest Hamas tunnels found to date. the Israeli Defense Army
The long tunnel provides access between the Hamas brigades and northern and southern Gaza. the Israeli Defense Army

The destroyed section was used to connect Hamas military forces and served as an underground crossing between northern and southern Gaza, according to the Israeli army.

The complete 7.5-mile tunnel system dwarfs the previous largest tunnel discovered in December near the Erez Crossing, which was about 2.5 miles long.

It took about three months for the Israeli military to announce that it had completed the demolition of the 2.5-mile-long tunnel, which had been blasted and sealed with concrete.

The Israeli army estimates that it destroyed about 40% of Hamas' terrorist tunnels. Muhammad Saber/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

It remains unclear how long it will take the Israeli army to completely demolish and close the 7.5-mile-long tunnel in central Gaza.

The Israeli army estimates that it destroyed about 40% of Hamas' terrorist tunnels, twice what US officials estimated.

Along with the demolitions, the IDF destroyed Hamas's tunnel system through air strikes and using water from the Mediterranean Sea to flood the passageways.

Sunday's operation came as the IDF's Nahal Brigade expelled 18 Hamas militants from central Gaza on Saturday after battles with snipers, tanks and air strikes, according to the IDF.

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