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July 7, 2015 4:49 pm

One Year After Protective Edge, IDF Set to Launch New Detection System for Gaza Tunnels

avatar by David Daoud

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A senior IDF official said that the army would be activating a new system designed to detect new tunnels being dug from Gaza into Israel. PHOTO: Reuters.

A senior IDF official said that the army would be activating a new system designed to detect new tunnels being dug from Gaza into Israel. PHOTO: Reuters.

The IDF will activate in the coming days a new detection system for underground tunnels running between the Gaza Strip and Israel, a senior Israeli military official said on Tuesday, according to Israel’s Channel 2 news.

Marking one year since the launch of last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, the IDF official told reporters that the new system had recently been deployed along the Gaza Strip.

He said none of the 32 terror tunnels dug by Hamas that were destroyed during the 50-day operation have been rebuilt. Nonetheless, the official said, Hamas is searching for new routes to dig tunnels towards Israel.

Destroying Hamas’ underground tunnel network — which the group used for terror attacks against Israeli targets along the border — was one of the main objectives of the IDF operation.

Hamas has long used smuggling tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt’s Sinai to smuggle weapons and other goods restricted by Israel’s security blockade. Since the end of hostilities last summer, the group has been seeking new smuggling routes, especially as Egypt has recently ramped-up efforts to stymie smuggling along the Sinai border, the IDF official said. 

The source also made note of ties between Hamas and Islamic State-affiliated groups in Sinai, which recently launched a series of deadly attacks against Egyptian forces. He said Hamas had provided training for the Egypt-based terrorists and assisted them in smuggling weapons into Sinai.

In addition to the Sinai terrorists’ connection to Hamas, he also noted that the Islamic State-affiliate was working to drag Israel into a larger confrontation with Egypt.

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  • I have been reliably informed that Israel is now able to put 86% of its effluent (sewerage) water to productive use. Filling these tunnels with the stuff may deprive the Mohayedin of the benefits awarded Moslem martyrs by 72 blackeyed virgins, but could act as a deterrent.
    On the other hand, if this fertiliser is left in place long enough, then the resulting above-the-ground foliage would serve as an indicator of such a tunnel, much as Eli Cohen’s accepted advice of planting trees above Syrian Golan bunkers in order to provide shade for Syrian soldiers, was of strategic benefit to Israel in 1967.

  • Yale

    I hope Israel has tunnel-detection technology that actually works. To announce that there is such to boost morale, when it isn’t proven, will prove to be a significant mistake if it cannot detect tunnels that Hamas (or Hezbollah) is currently building because it will destroy public trust in the IDF’s ability to protect the citizenry.

    • israel does not make false announcements. they have invented just about everything else in this world. why would you doubt them?

  • DockyWocky

    The major challenge in tunnels is how to properly seal off both ends at once, which then automatically solves the problem of the burial of terrorist “fighters” at the same time.

  • Lauren Goldman

    When tunnels are discovered, a remote-controlled igniter could be installed, the tunnel pumped full of highly explosive gas, the entrance sealed then set off the gas. It would be best if there were a way to verify that there were terrorists in the tunnel so the explosion could be used to best effect. Or, less spectacularly, completely flood the tunnels. Adding poisonous water snakes may add a flair to the whole affair.

  • Chris Moyler

    Will the system be extended sth of Gaza, where Israel and Egypt now have common cause.
    I expect that both want to keep a low profile on that one. Shalom. C.

  • steven L

    Is El-Sissi serious about improving the Egyptian condition.
    The Islamic way is the road to self-destruction.

  • Irwin Graulich

    Israel should inject poisons through metal tubes from above–a simple resolution to a despicable evil problem!!!

    • Lauren Goldman

      Maybe it is because I was born so soon after the war (Dec. 1945) that I cannot agree on gassing. The method described is too reminiscent of Auschwitz, and with modern technology there are many ways to achieve the desired outcome.

  • This new tunnel detection system must be deployed along Israel’s northern border, too.

  • Rick Hester

    This is good news. I pray that this new technology will put a stop to the tunnels. Once in place and proven successful, I hope you will sell them to the US. Although I doubt the leaders of the US have any real desire to protect it’s borders. God Bless Israel.

  • HaroldT

    When these tunnels are discovered (from Gaza and Lebanon) the Israeli’s must send a robotic 50ton bomb along the tunnel to its entrance and then detonate it.