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...

  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    JNS.org – Alan Gross used to be nothing more to me than a tragic headline. When I started my position at this news service in July 2011, Gross had been imprisoned in Cuba since December 2009 for what that country called “crimes against the state.” Gross, a subcontractor for the United States Agency for International Development, went to Cuba to help the Jewish community there access the Internet. After his arrest, he received a trial he describes as a “B movie,” […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Features New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    JNS.org – When I saw the recent Academy Award-winning film “The Big Short,” I was struck by the sheer genius of the financiers who devised the schemes and packaged the loans for resale, but it left me with unanswered questions about how the properties these loans represented were moved. “The Big Short” was largely about paper transactions, big money, and wealthy investors, and it mildly touched on the way the actual end-users — the home buyers and brokers — played into this […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Why do we think so negatively about psychiatrists that we still insult them by calling them shrinks? Some medics might be quacks, but we don’t generally refer to them as witches! Shrinks; The Untold Story of Psychiatry, by Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, is a sobering account of how psychiatry has swung from a marginal, unscientific mixture of weird theories into one of the most common and pervasive forms of treatment of what are commonly called “disorders of the mind.” Is it […]

    Read more →