The Hamas tunnel was “quietly” destroyed using a different method from those destroyed in the past, which were either blown up with explosives or by air strikes, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said.
The tunnel was located by the IDF by a new system using a collaboration between advanced technology and various engineering, intelligence and ground forces units, he said.
The military has been investing extensive efforts in locating cross-border tunnels from Gaza and has been building a ground-breaking underground barrier across the entire border with the Hamas-run enclave. Construction of the barrier is expected to cost over NIS 3 billion and be completed within two years.
The underground barrier is made from bentonite and is combined with large iron cages with a system of advanced sensor and monitoring devices to detect tunnels. On top of the underground barrier, a six-meter-high aboveground fence will be built to prevent anyone from crossing above ground.
To build the underground barrier, the army is using a German hydromill, a powerful drill that can destroy anything that crosses its path as it digs down into the ground. Once it reaches the depth believed by the army to be deep enough, the area is filled with the bentonite, a clay-like mineral that expands and turns into an adhesive when it comes into contact with water.
According to officials familiar with the construction of the barrier, the IDF knows when the bentonite comes into contact with a tunnel because the bentonite drains into it, effectively destroying it.
The two tunnels discovered in recent weeks were found where the barrier has not yet been completed.
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