In the village of Orif, in the West Bank city of Nablus, there is a restaurant that looks from the outside like a normal and popular food place. From the inside, the ‘restaurant’s’ restroom has a hole on the ground. The hole leads to what looks like a prison. The Palestinian security forces reported. They linked the place to the rival Gaza-based Hamas.
It seems that this place was arranged to close this tunnel in case those who dug it had to close it again. There is a large amount of soil placed on wooden planks that are tightly tied with metallic wires. When the wires are cut, the planks would fall and subsequently the soil would collapse and close the tunnel. Maybe, this set-up would help those inside the tunnel to escape. We still have more than 25 meters until we get to the rooms they told us about.
We arrived to a big room with a smaller room located in its corner containing two beds and a toilet, and which can be closed by an ironclad door. As for the bigger room, it has some basic survival equipment, in addition to advanced communication means.
That was in the underground tunnel, but above it, there was a hiding place for military uniforms and arsenal, in addition to metal detectors; Ammunition and equipment that the Palestinian authorities said they belong to Hamas movement, but the latter denied the story.
“This location was discovered after the confessions of several detainees to the Palestinian security forces. We went there and found this tunnel and subsequently the 20-meter prison,” said Jibrin al-Bakri, Governor of Nablus.
“The West Bank is witnessing several economic, security and political crises in addition to bribery and political affiliations. Popular demonstrations are also being held against these crises. Therefore, security forces in the West Bank have to blame these crises on an enemy or opponent: Fatah movement’s and security forces’ sole enemy is Hamas,” said Ismail al-Ashqar, Hamas leader.
Discovering this place might only be the beginning; the Palestinian authorities consider that this is more than a prison or a hiding place. Indeed, they think this location might be used to plan a coup d’état against the Palestinian authorities.