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June 26, 2018 2:31 pm

Israel to Establish Special Combat Unit to Fight Terror Tunnel Threat

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

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An IDF soldier overlooking a Hamas terror tunnel in Gaza in 2014. Photo: IDF.

The IDF is establishing a new specialized combat unit that will train specifically for underground fighting in an effort to counter the threat posed by terror tunnels dug under Israeli territory.

According to the Hebrew news site Walla, the unit is the brainchild of Gaza Division commander Brigadier General Yehuda Fuchs. After examining the tunnel situation, he decided that a dedicated force to fight the tunnels was necessary, one of whose branches will be the underground combat unit.

Last week, the Gaza Division decided to begin recruiting soldiers from other units, including experts on surveillance and tracking, who will serve as the nucleus of the new force. The combat soldiers will receive advanced technology and equipment, and be deployed along the entire border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza and Egypt.

Other aspects of the anti-tunnel program will include collaboration between Defense Ministry officials, geologists, intelligence officers, and experts from both the military and the private sector.

In addition, there will be intelligence sharing on the tunnel threat between the Southern and Northern Commands to map possible tunnels for eventual demolition and prevent the digging of new ones. A special school will be established in order to train soldiers to accomplish these tasks.

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