IDF shares video of large Hamas tunnel network in Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp

Ellie Pitt reports as the IDF shares footage of a tunnel they say is used by Hamas under the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza

Israel's military has shared video of what they have said is a large Hamas tunnel network in northern Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp.

The Israel Defence Force says it recovered the bodies of five Israeli hostages from the tunnels earlier this month - Warrant Officer Ziv Dado, Sergeant Ron Sherman, Corporal Nik Beizer, Eden Zacharia, and Elia Toledano. were buried in Israel.

It says the network had many branches used by Hamas to fight, including some tunnels going underneath a nearby school and hospital.

They have long accused Hamas of using humans as shields and tunnels under Gaza - using this to justify its missile strikes.

The airstrikes have devastated parts of Gaza, killed roughly 20,400 Palestinians and displaced almost all of the besieged territory's 2.3 million people.

The Health Ministry in Gaza said 166 people were killed in the coastal enclave over the past day.

Israel has come under international criticism for the civilian death toll but it blames Hamas, citing the militants’ use of crowded residential areas and tunnels.

It has launched thousands of airstrikes since Oct. 7, and has largely refrained from commenting on specific attacks.

Israel says it has killed thousands of Hamas militants, without presenting evidence, and says it is dismantling Hamas' vast tunnel network and killing off top commanders - an operation which leaders have said could take months.

Over the weekend 15 Israeli soldiers were also killed during fighting in Gaza, the Israeli military said on Sunday.

But the country's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said, they "have no choice but to continue fighting".

Israeli soldiers carry the flag-draped casket of Staff Sgt. Birhanu Kassie during his funeral on Sunday, Dec. 24, Credit: AP

His pledge comes as tentative efforts continue to make a deal for another exchange of hostages for Palestinians held by Israel and support for the war from western allies, and perhaps Israel itself, is waning.

The mounting death toll among Israeli troops - 154 since the ground offensive began - could erode public support for the war.

Israelis still largely stand behind the country’s stated goals of crushing Hamas’ governing and military capabilities and releasing the remaining 129 captives.

“Over time, the public will find it hard to ignore the heavy price paid, as well as the suspicion that the aims that were loudly heralded are still far from being attained, and that Hamas is showing no signs of capitulating in the near future," wrote Amos Harel, military affairs commentator for the Haaretz newspaper.

Efforts toward negotiations for the exchange of hostages continued on Sunday.

The head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, arrived in Egypt for talks.

The militant group, which also took part in the Oct. 7 attack, said it was prepared to consider releasing hostages only after fighting ends.

Hamas’ top leader Ismail Haniyeh traveled to Cairo for talks days earlier.Earlier, The United Nations Security Council has passed a watered-down resolution calling for the speedy delivery of humanitarian aid for hungry and desperate Palestinians and the release of all the hostages, but not for a cease-fire.

But it was not immediately clear how and when deliveries of food, medical supplies and other aid, far below the daily average of 500 before the war, would accelerate.

Trucks enter through two crossings — Rafah, and Kerem Shalom on the border with Israel. Wael Abu Omar, a spokesman for the Palestinian Crossings Authority, said 93 aid trucks entered Gaza through Rafah on Saturday.

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