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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘tunnels’

New IDF ‘Snake Pit’ Detects Terror Tunnels

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

While Hamas and Hezbollah continue to dig terror tunnels in the hope of catching Israel unawares, the IDF has created the means of stopping the threat.

Project “Snake Pit” – used at the tail end of last summer’s Operation Protective Edge – is at least part of the answer to IDF prayers, experts say.

The Defense Ministry’s MAFAT research and development division teamed with operational teams at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the IDF to create the new secret weapon.

Snake Pit combines “a number of technologies” and “off the shelf” components, according to a Defense Ministry promotional video posted on the Hebrew language hareidi religious website, Rooms of the Hareidim.

The MAFAT video was part of a presentation at a closed-door ceremony honoring excellence in breakthrough technologies and developments in the field of Israeli security.

Also honored at the ceremony was IDF Col. Ofer Winter, commander of the IDF Givati infantry brigade that fought so hard and suffered losses during anti-tunnel combat in last summer’s war in Gaza.

Winter praised the ability of military researchers to “bring a real solution that contributed and achieved operational results” in anti-tunnel technology.

“You are going out to battle a specific enemy and you don’t want to get dragged into combat the way he planned it – so you need to know how to create an advantage over that enemy.

“It’s hard to imagine what would have happened, had we not had that technology and this solution,” he added.

Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems is also actively engaged in the development of anti-tunnel technology and has been working on a system to ferret out signs of the deadly underground networks used by Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

The Elbit system can uncover and pinpoint ongoing underground excavations via its advanced sensor system, and at last report was about to be deployed along the border with Gaza.

IDF Deploys New Terror Tunnel Detection System

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

The IDF is deploying a $2 million-per-kilometer terror tunnel detection system developed by Israel’s Elbit Systems company.

Numerous reports recently have confirmed that Hamas is rebuilding its terror tunnel system with the help of tens of millions of dollars from Iran, but there has been no indication that Israel is doing anything about it.

The tunnel detection system presumable will give the IDF the opportunity to target tunnels, which it did during the Operation Protective Edge counter-terror campaign last summer but only after Israel had been attacked with missiles.

The IDF lost dozens of soldiers in the war on terror, which included destroying the tunnels, some of which were discovered inside Israel and which caught the military off guard.

The question now is whether Israel will wait for Hamas to deliver the first blow rather than carrying out pre-emptive bombings of the tunnels.

A new Israeli start-up called the Geophysical Institute of Israel developed the system in cooperation with the  Defense Ministry, according to the Israeli Globes business newspaper.

 

 

IDF to Begin Tunnel Warfare Training

Friday, February 27th, 2015

IDF training and resources in 2015 will be concentrating on strengthening two primary threat assessment areas, protecting Israel’s external borders and tunnel fighting.

The army believes that Israel’s biggest threats will be emanating from across the borders where the various radical Islamic terror groups have taken over, or will be taking over. The IDF will be allocating three times the amount of reserve unit resources to concentrate on protecting Israel’s borders.

The tunnel related training will revolve around underground fighting, as well as destroying the tunnels and the terrorists inside, from above without entering the tunnel.

A new training ground will be built with an underground tunnel systems for the purpose of training the IDF troops, and in particular elite units who will specialize in tunnel fighting.

The IDF also expects a new round of violence in Judea and Samaria this year as the Palestinian Authority’s budgetary problems escalate.

UNRWA Runs Out of Money that Israel Says Being Used for Terror Tunnels

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

UNRWA said Tuesday it has suspended it program  rehabilitate Gaza, which may be good news for Israel since it says material shipped to Gaza are also being used to rehabilitate terror tunnels.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told President Reuven Rivlin in New York Monday night that the United Nations has sent a team to Gaza to investigate assertions by Israel that metal and cement shipped into Gaza are being used for tunnels as well as homes.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told The Jewish Press he is not aware of any money being used for the tunnels, some of which have been identified by the IDF as newly constructed.

The UNRWA program to help Gazans, whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hamas rockets as well as Israeli fire in last summer’s war, is dependent on pledges of $5.4 billion, including $720 million for UNRWA, made by foreign donors at a conference in Cairo last October..

“The gap between expectations after the October Cairo conference and present reality is widening. There are genuine fears that if UNRWA halts this program, the consequences could be dramatic,” said Gunness.

He added, “All of the money that we can dispense has been spent. There is no more money.” He also stated that no money is missing.

There are two UNRWA aid plans, one for rental subsidies and the other for cash payments for Gazans to buy materials.

The Jewish Press has learned that most of the money that actually was turned over to UNRWA came from Saudi Arabia, followed by the European Union.

The constant threat of violence from Gaza is often fueled by great expectations, and the halt to work for homes in Gazans could stir up the locals again.

And what happened to all of the pledges?

Par for the course, most Arab countries have not lived up to their promises.

For example, Qatar pledged $1 billion.

With the price of oil having caved in since October, perhaps the richest country in the world, which has investments of more than $100 billion, cannot find the shekels for its poor brethren in Gaza.

Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad may need the small change for the maid to clean his home in London, for which he paid $62 million and then spent another $110 million to refurbish, complete with marble bathrooms.

Cairo Razing Rafah to Create Gaza Buffer

Friday, January 9th, 2015

This is the Tale of Two Cities: Old Rafah, and New Rafah – that is, the Egyptian half of the Gaza city that currently straddles the border with Egypt, and the one soon to be on the drawing boards of /Egyptian engineers.

North Sinai District Governor Abd al-Fattah Harour told journalists at a news briefing Wednesday that Egypt has decided to raze Rafah to the ground – at least, the part that exists on Egypt’s side of the border.

“A new Rafah city is being established with residential zones appropriate to the nature and traditions of the residents of Rafah,” Harour said, according to the Ma’an news agency.

He confirmed that engineering units have already been authorized to begin work on the project.

Egypt is currently evacuating some 2,044 families from 1,220 homes located on a stretch of land along the border with Gaza. The families are to be compensated for the loss of their homes and also will receive additional funds with which to rent new accommodations until they can find new places to live.

The evacuation is being carried out in preparation for creation of a wider buffer zone between Egypt and Gaza. Original plans a year ago called for a buffer of 500 meters; the current buffer zone is to measure at least a kilometer wide.

However, this latest development has come about because the existence of the city of Rafah still constitutes a military weak point for Egypt vis a vis Gaza and Hamas, as it does for Israel.

Rafah is also the sole international crossing which is not under Israel’s control and which remains vulnerable to seizure by international terrorists. (In Jordan, the sole crossing with Iraq was shut down last year after the Iraq side was seized by terrorists from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). European monitors in Rafah who were supposed to remain at the site to “keep the peace” and maintain its neutrality abandoned their posts at the first sign of danger years ago.

On January 23, 2008 Hamas blew a hole in the security barrier built in 2003 near the Rafah crossing, destroying a significant part of the wall. The United Nations estimated that as many as 750,000 Gazans flooded through that hole into Egypt from that day forward until the breach was repaired, 11 days later. Many came to shop for food and supplies, but several thousand were also wanted terrorists; Israel Police raised the alert in the Jewish State knowing it was likely these “shoppers” were also purchasing “supplies.”

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization was spawned by Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organization. The group has sparked endless anti-government attacks in Egypt, and developed alliances with other groups, leading to further problems.

During the recent brief reign of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s predecessor, Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist-majority parliament, Sinai became saturated with radical Islamist terrorists.

Terror groups such as the Al Qaeda-linked Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which recently swore allegiance to ISIS, grew there exponentially. Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda-linked Army of Islam Salafis also planted bases in Sinai as well.

In particular, Hamas honeycombed the area under the border in Rafah with tunnels which they used for smuggling military supplies and luxury items into Gaza – and terrorists out, in to Sinai and elsewhere.

It is this activity the Cairo government is determined to end. Egypt’s security personnel have destroyed hundreds of terrorist tunnels over the past 18 months, but they are often rebuilt when Hamas obtains new supplies.

As international aid organizations bring concrete and other building materials into the enclave to “help” the poverty stricken Palestinian Authority residents rebuild their homes, Hamas confiscates the items to reconstruct their terror tunnel network. It’s an expensive project: each tunnel costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to build.

IDF Gagged Media from Revealing Depth of Tunnel Threat 5 Months Before War

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

The IDF underestimated the tunnel threat and also intentionally did not publicize the extent of the threat that was known before the war in order not to “spark undue concern” in Gaza Belt communities,” Defense News reported Saturday.

Barbara Opall-Rome reported that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz invited her earlier this year for an on-site briefing with military commanders.

“I reluctantly agreed to demands that the mid-March day trip remain off the record,” she wrote, but the restrictions have seen been lifted.

IDF officers showed her a tunnel that was dug from central Gaza to the vicinity of near Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha. A few days earlier, the IDF announced it extended 300 yards into Israeli territory.

“It became immediately clear: The IDF had grossly misrepresented the severity of the underground breach, which extended perilously close to the kibbutz perimeter,” Opall-Rome wrote.

“Brig. Gen. Micky Edelstein, Gaza Division commander, took my hand as we descended several meters to the exposed opening,” she added. “We didn’t have to traverse far inside to realize the sophistication of the freshly built structure,” which it turned out extended nearly half a mile beyond the Gaza security fence.

The tunnel was approximately 7 feet high and three feet wide, large enough for a fully-equipped terrorist to use it to carry out a slaughter at the kibbutz, a plan that was foiled at almost the last-minute in this summer’s war.

It was clear to the IDF commanders that the threat of tunnel was a high-priority issue.

Why didn’t the ID simply explode the tunnel back in March?

“There’s no need to spark undue concern in neighboring communities,” Col. Amos HaCohen, commander of the Gaza South Brigade, told her.

Gantz said at the time. “There’s a lot of things related to the tunnels from Gaza that worries me,” he said, and added that Hamas “improving this [tunnel-based] strategy… and challenging us to a point where it could be we will be dragged into another conflict.”

The rest is history.

Beit Guvrin

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Long before Hamas, there were caves and underground cities in Israel, which the Jews used to fight against the invading Romans.

This is a video of Beit Guvrin, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/video-picks/beit-guvrin/2014/09/04/

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