While Hamas readies an assault on Israel, the IDF prepares effective countermeasures.
Senior IDF officials warned that while Hamas is investing notable efforts in rebuilding its military capabilities and its network of terror tunnels, the IDF’s countermeasures will turn the underground passageways into a “deathtrap” for Hamas terrorists in the event of another war.
Speaking on Thursday, three years after Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, unnamed officials were quoted in Israel Hayom as saying that while the Israeli military significantly crippled Hamas’ grid of terror tunnels during the 2014 military campaign, the IDF is confident that it is now far better equipped and prepared to deal with the threat, having invested millions to develop and procure useful technologies and equipment, as well as build a counter-tunnel obstacle around the Gaza Strip.
The IDF destroyed 32 terror tunnels during Operation Protective Edge, and has since exposed several others. However, the threat still remains, and the IDF devoted extensive resources to devise a solution to the tunnel threat.
A February report in Israeli media said that Hamas has built at least 15 tunnels extending into Israel.
The terror organization employs over 1,000 residents of Gaza to dig its illegal cross-border tunnels and is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly on wages. Each digger receives $300-400 a month.
IDF intelligence suggests that the majority of Hamas’ investment in the tunnels is actually focused on digging defense tunnels inside Gaza.
Over the past three years, the IDF has developed tactical plans and combat doctrines meant to deal with the tunnel threat.
Alongside their largely successful technological solutions, the IDF’s Engineering and Infantry Corps have developed various countermeasures and have undergone extensive tunnel warfare training.
The IDF has doubled the number of soldiers in the “Yahalom” unit, the elite commando unit of the IDF’s Combat Engineering Corps.
While combat soldiers in most units are trained in basic tunnel warfare, Yahalom specializes in discovering, clearing, and destroying terror tunnels.
Israel’s Air Force (IAF) also learned necessary lessons form Operation Protective Edge.
By: World Israel News Staff