IDF destroys last remnants of Hamas tunnel near Gaza border fence

The tunnel’s path was taken out of commission and was under the full control of the IDF prior to its destruction.

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February 9, 2015 09:30
1 minute read.
Israel-Gaza border

The entrance to a tunnel exposed by the Israeli military is seen on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The IDF has completed the destruction of remnants of a Hamas attack tunnel in Israeli territory near Nahal Oz.

Work to complete the destruction of the tunnel was completed over recent days, though most of the underground structure was destroyed last summer, during Operation Protective Edge.

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The tunnel was taken out of commission and was under the full control of the IDF prior to its demolition.

The operation took place near the border fence with Gaza. Soldiers also uncovered a number of old weapons left over from the summer conflict.

The efforts are part of the IDF Southern Command initiative to fortify defenses in the Gaza border area. Last week, the head of the IDF’s Northern Command and former head of Military Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi warned that Israel must expect many future rounds of fighting with its enemies following Operation Protective Edge.

Kochavi said the 50-day war against Hamas last summer – was “one round of fighting, and many more will follow it.”

The IDF is working on a new tunnel detection system, which has made some progress in recent months.



In January, an IDF source revealed that the system was being designed to provide real time alerts on terrorists digging attack tunnels, to thwart Hamas’s subterranean cross-border network – repeatedly used to send Hamas cells into Israel.

The IDF destroyed 32 cross-border tunnels during the Gaza war.

“We have been trying out a number of models in recent months, with quite a few successes,” the IDF source said.

“We have tried technological solutions that brought us achievements. But it is still limited, and it has not given us full solutions,” the source cautioned. “I want to be careful and say, don’t expect [a full solution] for this to happen now. There is significant progress.”

In recent years, the IDF, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and other agencies have worked with Israeli defense companies to try and develop detection systems. In 2005 and 2006, two systems were shortlisted and tested, but failed their trials.

Defense firms went back to the drawing board and returned with an enhanced version, which has since passed the laboratory phase.

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