"We know from X's job that there are many tunnels. There are several types: Bunkers, hiding places (for pop-out, attack, pop-in), command posts, housing in war for important and rich Gazans, etc. The main type of tunnel that BB has spoken of, consistently, from the beginning of the operation, has been attack tunnels that lead from Gaza into Israel, some into the middle of kibbutzim and moshavim on the border, the others very close to them. Some of these tunnels are two-three kms long!
From the captured Hamas people we have learned that the sole purpose of these attack tunnels being for one huge operation at Rosh hashana this year. They had planned to instantaneously attack the settlements, with crews of ten to fifteen terrorists to each tunnel, slaughtering as many people gathered together in their settlement dinning rooms celebrating the Rosh hashana eve meal as they could and kidnapping others.
These tunnels were considered an existential threat to Israel. The brief history of this operation that has turned into a war: Three months ago, two idiot Hamas operatives decided to do something unilaterally, They kidnapped and immediately killed three young men, aged 16-19. Israel consequently responded by arresting nearly every Hamas operative in the West Bank. These operatives were not only a threat to Israel but also threatened the rule of Abbu Mazan (Arafats' replacement and essentially the PM of the Palestinian State in the West Bank). Hamas responded to this by allowing a slow but steady stream of rockets into Israel. Israel decided to do pinpoint operations to target the rocket launchers and their operators. These launchers are buried in the ground, pre-targeted at Israeli cities. Many of them have pneumatic mechanisms for opening, firing and then closing. Israel has known of these for a long while, hence the 4000 air sorties which have destroyed a good deal of them. The Hamas, courtesy of Iran, have around 30,000 rockets of which perhaps 1/3 have been fired at Israel. About 10 of these 10,000 rockets have got through the Iron Dome defenses and actually caused Damage or injuries. Hamas must show some kind of military gain to the Arab world. The only way they can do this is to fire rockets at Israel.
Hamas has suffered HUGE losses. Officially 1300-1400 Gazans have died so far, 60% of which are males between the ages of 19-35 years old...you work out whether they were combatants or not....Unofficially they have lost at least another 2000 combatants. Their internal terror infrastructure has been totally destroyed. Their main command post, where their leadership cadre are sitting, is under Shee'ba hospital in central Gaza city...You can imagine the type of defenses they have arrange around that facility. I would suggest that they have rigged the whole hospital with explosives waiting for Israel to attack them, unleashing terrible carnage which they would use as a tool against Israel. Perhaps to create a tidal wave of reaction involving attack by Iran (nuclear?), Iraq, Syria and the rest of the Arab world.
When Israel went in, the plan was to neutralize the above mentioned attack tunnels in the above mention pinpoint operation, but the further in we went the more spurs of these tunnel were found. Each tunnel under houses, mosques, schools and clinics and hospitals. Hamas forced the residents to stay in these places so Israel couldn't bomb them. Each tunnel entrance guarded by 10-20 terrorists. Israel will not bomb civilians knowingly, so our boys have to go in and clear the space of civilians, while under attack by terrorist, before they can destroy the tunnels. This is why, to reiterate the above statement "These tunnels were considered an existential threat to Israel". You might also consider how the Hezbollah in Lebanon have been passing their time since the last contratante we had with them apart, of course, from destroying Syria. I hope this explanation wasn't too fragmented. Maybe pass it on to any of your friends who may be starting to doubt what Israel is trying to do."