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Hamas downplays damage to tunnel network

While Israel says it destroyed much of Hamas’ underground network in the Gaza Strip, Gaza City’s mayor tells Al-Monitor strikes have destroyed roads, water stations and electricity installations.
A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip shows Israeli soldiers standing near the entrance of a tunnel that Israel says was dug by Islamic Jihad, leading from the Palestinian enclave into Israel, near the kibbutz of Kissufim, Israel, Jan. 18, 2018.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Israeli military operation that erupted May 10 has killed 232 Palestinians, wounded 1,900 others and destroyed 1,800 housing units and dozens of economic and commercial facilities. On May 20, Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, ending the hostilities. While Israel claimed that the strikes were targeting Hamas — in particular its tunnel network — the militant group has downplayed the damage to the underground system and Gazan officials say the bulk of the damage has been to infrastructure vital to citizens.

The largest bombing operations took place May 14 with the participation of 160 Israeli combat aircraft and dozens of heavy artillery batteries in the northern Gaza Strip. Within 35 minutes, 450 missiles were dropped on 150 targets, destroying entire neighborhoods and displacing thousands of families toward schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

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