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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    JNS.org – Five months after Israeli forces tried to assassinate Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif in Gaza, Deif appears to have signed a letter that the terrorist group claims he wrote in hiding. The letter, addressed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, expressed Deif’s condolences for the death of Hezbollah terrorists during Sunday’s reported Israeli airstrike in Syria. Deif is said to have survived multiple assassination attempts, but he has not been seen in public for years. According to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    JNS.org – The cracks that had been simply painted over for so long began to show in Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014, but in truth they had begun to open wide much earlier—on Saturday, July 13, 2013. That is when a jury in Sanford, Fla., acquitted George Zimmerman of culpability for the death of a 17-year-old black man, Trayvon Martin. The cracks receded from view over time, as other news obscured them. Then came the evening of Aug. 9, 2014, [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    A controversial scene in the season finale of Homeland sparked outrage by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. In the season 4 finale episode, which aired on Dec. 21, CIA black ops director Dar Adal, played by F. Murray Abraham, justifies a deal he made with a Taliban leader by referencing Begin. He makes the remarks in a conversation with former CIA director Saul Berenson, a Jewish character played by Mandy [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Shining Light on Fiction During the North Korea-Sony saga, we learned two important lessons. The first is that there are two sides to this story, and neither of them are correct because ultimately we should have neither inappropriate movies nor dictators. The second is that we cannot remain entirely fixed on the religious world, but we also must see beyond the external, secular view of reality. It’s important to ground our Torah-based thoughts into real-life activism. To view our act [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    JNS.org – Hollywood has had its share of big-budget biblical flops, but until now, the Exodus narrative has not been among them. Studios have brought Moses to the big screen sparingly, but in ways that defined the image and character of Moses for each generation of audiences. The first biblical epic In 1923, director Cecil B. DeMille left it to the American public to decide the subject of his next movie for Paramount. DeMille received a letter from a mechanic [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a tale as old as time itself, to borrow a turn of phrase. It’s retold every Passover, both at the seder table and whenever “The Ten Commandments” is aired on television. But the latest adaptation—Ridley Scott’s epic film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”—fails to meet expectations. Scott’s “Exodus” alters the source material to service the story and ground the tale, but the attempt to reinvent the biblical narrative becomes laughable. Moses [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Lifestyle ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    JNS.org - In December 2007, leaders of the Hazon nonprofit drafted seven-year goals for what they coined as the “Jewish Food Movement,” which has since been characterized by the increased prioritization of healthy eating, sustainable agriculture, and food-related activism in the Jewish community. What do the next seven years hold in store? “One thing I would like to see happen in the next seven years is [regarding] the issue of sugar, soda, and obesity, [seeing] what would it be like to rally the [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Education Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    JNS.org – Forget the dioramas. How about working on an Israeli Air Force drone? That’s exactly the kind of beyond-their-years access enjoyed by students at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) industrial vocational high school run by Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the largest education network in the Jewish state. More than 300 students (250 on the high school level and 68 at a two-year vocational academy) get hands-on training in the disciplines of aviation mechanics, electricity and energy control, and unmanned air [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.