Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

IDF Details Approach to Destroying ‘Terror Tunnels’ Connecting Hamas in Gaza to Israel, Sinai

October 14, 2013 11:57 pm 0 comments

Image of a Gaza tunnel.

After a “terror tunnel” was discovered last week and revealed by the Israel Defense Forces yesterday at 18 meters underground and extending for 1.7 kilometers, an IDF Officer has further described the approach taken by the security forces to root out Hamas operatives from their underground fortresses, according to an interview on Israel’s Channel 2.

Hamas is vowing to dig more tunnels like this one which was discovered near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, which is adjacent to Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip. The IDF believes there could be dozens like this, which is why a new division was created to focus on identifying and destroying the tunnels.

According to the Southern Command’s Officer Sami Turgeman, interviewed by Channel 2, “This is the third ‘terror tunnel’ found lately around the Gaza Strip.”

“It is a gross violation of [Israel’s] sovereignty, and if Hamas pursues a terror attack it will pay a heavy price for it. The Gaza Strip will not be the same if such a terror attack is realized,” he said.

“Hamas and other organizations construct many tunnels of many kilometers in and around the Gaza Strip,” the officer said.

The IDF recently re-organized to better focus on the tunnels. A new group was created as a special squad of the Yahalom unit of the Engineering Corps, to be tasked with identifying and destroying the underground routes.

The biggest problem for the IDF, according to engineering officers, has been not having enough resources to locate the tunnels. “That’s why we rely in part on intelligence and observation,” Officer Turgeman said. “Constructing tunnels, especially at the latter stages, requires a lot of work. They generate large amounts of dirt, have lots of people going up and down, working with electric cables, digging tools and concrete. These things are very difficult to hide even when the starting point is from under a home. ”

Around the Gaza Strip, the IDF operates extensive and elaborate observation systems, including drones and reconnaissance aircraft from the Air Force.

In addition, the IDF is able to follow underground mapping operations using special radars, and has tools designed to locate tunnels. The IDF also operates heavy equipment for dealing with tunnels in mid-construction.

“After revealing a tunnel, we close the opening using heavy tools, such as the [Caterpillar] D-9,” the officer said. “The work is very dangerous because you never know if there is someone in the opening of the tunnel, if he is armed or if there are explosives and booby traps. ”

The IDF Officer shared an example of a source in Gaza who was paid NIS 1,000 a month to inform on a tunnel set-up. The IDF learned that a 500 meter-long tunnel was built over eight months running from Gaza into Egypt’s Rafah, using a storage bin and shed as the only above-ground marker for the tunnel’s entrance.

The tunnel discovered this week was much larger and would have allowed Hamas forces entry into Israel to engage in combat with the IDF.

On Sunday, Brig. Gen. Mickey Edelstein, Commander of the Gaza Division said in a statement: “The IDF holds the Hamas terror organization as the sole responsible body for all terror activities emanating from the Gaza Strip, and continues to operate on the intelligence and operational levels in order to apprehend terror attacks.”

The tunnel is a “gross violation of the ceasefire, [and is] against Israel and against the Palestinians,” The Times of Israel quoted Edelstein as saying in reference to the ceasefire agreement reached between Israel and Hamas following an outbreak of hostilities in November 2012.

On Sunday, Israel suspended the delivery of building materials into Gaza after discovering a “terror tunnel” connecting the coastal strip to Israel early last week.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features As Berlin Prices Rise, Israelis Turn East for German Real-Estate Bargains

    As Berlin Prices Rise, Israelis Turn East for German Real-Estate Bargains

    JNS.org – Sonnenallee, a street in Berlin’s Neukölln district, looks like it comes straight out of an Arab city — so much so that it goes by the nickname “Gaza Strip.” Kebab and bakery shops are advertised in Arabic; men sit in men-only coffee shops; and bridal shop windows showcase glittery, not-so-stylish gowns. But take a random turn, and you’ll find a swath of bars, burger joints, and Indian restaurants where hip Berliners announce that they have arrived to urban coolness. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Slays in ‘Wonder Woman’ Trailer (VIDEO)

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Slays in ‘Wonder Woman’ Trailer (VIDEO)

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot engages in fierce action sequences in the new Wonder Woman trailer, which Warner Bros. premiered during the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. The nearly 3-minute trailer, the first to debut for the superhero film, shows scenes of Diana, princess of the Amazons, fighting alongside men in the battle against the world’s toughest enemies. The first shot of the video shows Wonder Woman discovering a man, Steve Trevor (played by actor Chris Pine), washed ashore. The clip then takes viewers to the all-female island where Wonder Woman was born. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    Is diplomacy worthwhile, even if the end result isn’t what we hoped for? That is the question, among many others, posed by the new play Oslo, by J.T. Rogers. Making its New York debut at Lincoln Center, the play examines the secret diplomatic process that led to the historic 1993 peace accords. The character of Shimon Peres makes an appearance onstage — and he, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, tower over the proceedings. But they mainly do so in absentia. Instead, […]

    Read more →
  • Spirituality/Tradition Sports Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    JNS.org – Other than being part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Sandy Koufax and Dean Kremer have something else in common: a respect for Jewish tradition. Koufax — who was recently ranked by ESPN as the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history — decided not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because the game fell on Yom Kippur. “I would do the same,” Kremer said in an interview. Last month, the 20-year-old Kremer became […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    The famed lead guitarist of British rock band Queen, Brian May, encouraged Jewish singer-songwriter Adam Lambert to perform in Hebrew during their upcoming joint concert in Israel, an entertainment industry advocacy organization reported on Tuesday. During a recent interview with Israeli television personality Assi Azar, May was played a 2005 video of Lambert singing the popular song Shir L’Shalom, (Song for Peace). May was so impressed by Lambert’s singing of the Hebrew track that he told the American singer, “We have to do that. Let’s […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    JNS.org – Kenyan-born marathoner Lonah Chemtai is expected to compete for Israel at the Olympics Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil next month after gaining a last minute approval. “I am very proud [to represent Israel] and I hope to achieve a new personal best time,” Chemtai told Reuters. Chemtai, who grew up a rural village in western Kenya, first came to Israel in 2009 to care of the children of her country’s ambassador to Israel. The 27-year-old runner recently gained […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    To date or not to date? That is not the question for most Modern Orthodox singles in New York. The question is when will they find their future spouses, and when will their families stop nagging them about having babies? Inspired by the success of the Israeli show “Srugim,” Leah Gottfried, 25, decided she would create and star in her own show, “Soon By You.” “Dating is so serious already,” Gottfried said. “We wanted to take a lighter approach and laugh at the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israeli Actress Says Playing Muslim Character in ‘Tyrant’ Has Made Her More ‘Hopeful, Humble’

    Israeli Actress Says Playing Muslim Character in ‘Tyrant’ Has Made Her More ‘Hopeful, Humble’

    Israeli actress Moran Atias said that playing a Muslim woman in the hit FX series Tyrant has changed her outlook. “Educating myself about a different culture has made me more hopeful and humble, that we’re all the same,” the Jewish actress, 35, said during an interview with AOL Build. Atias plays Leila Al-Fayeed, the strong and politically minded wife of the president of Abbudin, a fictional Middle Eastern country run by a dictatorial family. The Israeli-born former model, who earned the title of Miss Globe International […]

    Read more →