The IDF is preparing its soldiers to contend with terrorists in the next conflict who suddenly pop out from tunnels — anywhere.
Gaza’s Hamas terrorist organization has nearly completed its tunnel network, despite work accidents and “acts of Allah” that cannot be prevented, such as this week’s rain pouring down from the skies, which buries both diggers and the tunnels they dug.
Heavy rains are continuing to pour down on to Israel, a blessing to the land and to the security of the Jews living in the Land as well. The soft sands in Gaza are easy for diggers to tunnel through, although they become a digger’s grave when the tunnels collapse from the weight of the water-logged mud in the rain. Still, Hamas forces its diggers to continue, using stolen concrete to shore up the walls of the tunnels against the damp, while callously leaving its people without homes.
The rebuilt Hamas tunnel infrastructure beneath Gaza is rapidly regrowing itself and possibly extending even deeper into Israel than before, security sources say.
Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees have been cooperating to dig tunnels that could reach up to 10 kilometers deep into Israel, according to the Middle East Newsline.
But IDF and Shin Bet intelligence agents have been coordinating efforts for some time to foil infiltrations into Israel by Hamas and other terrorists via the tunnels.
During Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014, Israeli defense officials discovered plans to carry out a terror attack in Israel around the time of the High Holy Days that would have killed and or abducted hundreds.
In July 2014, Hamas was preparing a murderous assault on Israeli civilians during the Jewish new year holiday of Rosh Hashanah, Israeli security sources told the Hebrew-language Ma’ariv daily.
Some 200 terrorists were to be dispatched via the tunnels dug under the Gaza border to Israel. They would have emerged to seize hostages from kibbutzim and other Jewish communities, while killing other Israeli civilians.
Thousands of Hamas terrorists meanwhile would have been swarming across Israel wearing IDF uniforms, complicating a military response to the attack.
Reports at the time indicated that Hezbollah terrorists may have planned to join the attack as well, opening a second front in the north. The destruction of the tunnels – Gaza’s “underground terrorist city” – during the 2014 war thwarted the plan.
Over the past six months, Israel’s Home Front Command has held a number of military and civil defense drills aimed at preparing the IDF and civilian population for an upcoming war launched either by Hamas in the south, or by Hezbollah from the north.
IDF troops have been deployed along both fronts for several months, particularly since October, when the current wave of terror began. The 2014 mini-war with Hamas in Gaza resulted from a similar wave of terror, as did all prior operations, including that which morphed into the two-front 2006 Second Lebanon War.
Hana Levi Julian