The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has discovered a tunnel built by the Hamas terror group that extended from the Gaza Strip across the border into Israel.
Military assessments indicate that the tunnel, which is 30 meters (about 98 feet) deep, was probably dug after the IDF destroyed many such tunnels during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Such “terror tunnels,” as they have become known, are built for Hamas terrorists to infiltrate Israel and commit terror attacks in Israeli territory.
The tunnel was uncovered 10 days ago, but permission to announce the discovery wasn’t given until Monday. The IDF found the tunnel through an alert from an innovative technological system developed to detect such tunnels in the wake of 2014’s war with Hamas. The alert system was developed by Israel’s Ministry of Defense’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, the Geophysical Institute of Israel, Elbit Systems Ltd., and another small start-up, reported the Israeli business website Globes.
“The challenge is very big. The tunnels are very deep. We have capabilities that do not exist anywhere else in the world. We can detect, at depths of 30 to 40 meters,” a senior security source told the Jerusalem Post, indicating that the details of how the system works remain classified.
The IDF, explained the source, is “always operating under the severe assumption that there are more intrusive tunnels out there. If we can…detect and destroy them, and achieve it without reaching an escalation, that is our set mission. If this does lead to an escalation, it will not deter us either.”