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    Uncrowned Guard

    Tunnels and Tensions: Unveiling the Hidden Complex Under Gaza's UN Agency

      TL;DR: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported finding a Hamas-linked complex beneath a UN aid agency's headquarters in Gaza, featuring sophisticated infrastructure and computer servers. This discovery followed an invitation to journalists, including from The Wall Street Journal, to inspect the site, confirming the presence of the tunnel. The UN agency has called for an independent inquiry, amid broader accusations of staff involvement in terror activities and subsequent disciplinary actions. This incident casts a spotlight on the extensive "Gaza metro" tunnel network and underscores the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, exacerbated by ongoing military actions and leading to widespread food insecurity and displacement.

    IDF Uncovers Hamas Complex

    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recently announced the discovery of a complex attributed to Hamas beneath the headquarters of a United Nations aid agency in Gaza. According to the IDF, the complex included an entrance near a school associated with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and extended under the agency's main headquarters in Gaza City. Inside, soldiers found sophisticated "electrical infrastructure" and multiple computer servers allegedly powered by the building above.

    Journalistic Investigation

    Following the IDF's claims, journalists from various international news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, were invited to inspect the site. Their visit confirmed the existence of the tunnel beneath the UN agency's courtyard, though it did not conclusively demonstrate Hamas' operational use of the facility. The Wall Street Journal published images showing a room filled with server racks, adding a visual dimension to the IDF's allegations.

    UN Agency Responds

    In light of these revelations, the UN agency has called for an independent inquiry into the matter, stating its lack of military and security expertise to conduct such inspections on its own. This development follows accusations that several agency staff members were linked to Hamas’ attacks on Israel on October 7, which resulted in significant casualties. The UN agency has since taken disciplinary actions against implicated staff members, emphasizing a zero-tolerance policy towards any involvement in acts of terror.

    Wider Implications

    This incident shines a light on the extensive tunnel network known as "the Gaza metro," constructed by Hamas across the Gaza Strip, and raises concerns about the challenges faced by international aid organizations operating in conflict zones. As Israel continues its military operations in Gaza, the humanitarian situation worsens, with a significant portion of the population facing severe food insecurity and displacement. The international community is closely monitoring the situation, particularly ahead of Israel's expected offensive against Rafah, a critical area for Gazans seeking refuge from the ongoing conflict.

    Image Credit: Israel Defense Forces

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