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Israel's Calculated Tunnel Demolitions

Terror tunnel, January 15, 2018 (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

Yesterday, the IDF discovered and destroyed a large terror tunnel from Gaza, again showcasing its growing capabilities to counter this particular threat from Hamas. However, writes Ynet News' Alex Fishman, Israel is choosing to destroy these tunnels one-by-one, in order for Hamas to understand what is happening rather than pushing the terror organization into taking desperate measures:

The amount of noise created when hundreds of kilograms of explosives are dropped from the air is frightful, which is why the army decided to issue an early warning to Gaza vicinity residents on Saturday night. In fact, it was the first time Israel admitted that the Air Force plays a significant role in the demolition of tunnels.

This time, the IAF attacked a tunnel shaft near Rafah, several hundred meters from the Israel border.

The IAF wasn’t alone in this attack. The tunnel was destroyed from the ground as well. Only last week, Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot visited the Gaza vicinity to observe an exercise conducted by one of the IDF’s special units, which included taking over and destroying an attack tunnel. The techniques developed in the past year have already been implemented in the demolition of four tunnels in the past two months, and they just keep improving.

The technological aspect of locating and destroying tunnels coming out of the Gaza Strip has a much more complicated and complex political side. Dealing with the tunnels is like crawling in a minefield. You uncover one mine after another, you move forward, but you have no idea if you’ll make it to the other side of the field in one piece—in other words, destroying all the tunnels by the end of the year without leading to a war.

At the moment, an all-out war in Gaza is against Israel’s interest. It may disrupt the completion of the underground obstacle and the new border fence around Gaza, lead to a deterioration in the Palestinian arena in general and create difficulties vis-à-vis the Egyptians. Most importantly, there is no one else who can be given control of the strip...

Tags: Hamas , IDF , Terrorism

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