Israel claims Hamas tunnels found under UN agency headquarters in Gaza News
IDF Spokesperson's Unit, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Common
Israel claims Hamas tunnels found under UN agency headquarters in Gaza

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday that it discovered a tunnel in Gaza linking two buildings belonging to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians in the Near East (UNWRA). The IDF claims that the tunnel was used by “terrorist[s]” in the ongoing war with Hamas.

The 700-meter tunnel was discovered between a UNWRA school and the agency’s headquarters in Gaza City. IDF stated that the tunnel was filled with a large number of weapons and “various intelligence assets.” Additionally, the IDF video posted to X claimed to show “electrical infrastructure” derived from the UNWRA buildings used to power the tunnels. The IDF also claims that the electricity was likely “generated by the fuel provided through humanitarian aid.”

UNWRA denied they had any knowledge of the tunnel or its use. The head of the agency, Philippi Lazzarini, stated on X that “UNRWA did not know what is under its headquarters in Gaza” and that the buildings have been empty since October 12, when evacuation orders were issued. Lazzarini added that the last annual inspection of the facilities and their surroundings was completed in September 2023. The agency claimed that any “suspicious [a]ctivity” would have been reported to both Gazan and Israeli officials.

UNWRA is the subject of two UN investigations into the neutrality of the agency and whether UNWRA employees took part in the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. The agency recently fired several employees after their alleged involvement in the attacks.