Science

As Gazans Scrounge for Food and Water, Hamas Sits on a Rich Trove of Supplies

As supplies of virtually every basic human necessity dwindle in Gaza, one group in the besieged enclave remains well-stocked: Hamas.

Arab and Western officials say there is substance to Israeli claims of Hamas stockpiling supplies, including desperately needed food and fuel. Hamas, they say, has spent years building dozens of kilometers of tunnels under the strip where it has amassed stores of virtually everything needed for a drawn-out fight. It is a reality that Israel may soon find itself grappling with if it makes good on its threat to invade Gaza.

Hamas has hundreds of thousands of liters of fuel for vehicles and rockets; caches of ammunition, explosives and materials to make more; and stockpiles of food, water and medicine, the officials said. A senior Lebanese official said the militants, who are estimated to number between 35,000 and 40,000, had enough stocked away to keep fighting for three to four months without resupply.

One of the four Israeli hostages released by Hamas even described the militants providing captives with medicine, shampoo and feminine hygiene products. All are now said to be extraordinarily scarce in Gaza more than two weeks after Israel, aided by Egypt, imposed what it called a “complete” blockade following the attack by the terrorist group on Oct. 7.

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