Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday announced a new technological breakthrough in Israel’s effort to locate Hamas underground terror tunnels. Speaking after the announcement of the discovery of a terror tunnel reaching 90 feet into Israel from the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu boasted that the breakthrough had occurred only days earlier, making it a light-speed pace between pointing out the need for the technology, in August 2014, and the delivery.
The new technology has been dubbed “Iron Dome for Tunnels,” which JNi.media officially coined ‘Iron Mole,” feel free to share with the proper attribution.
According to Yedioth Aharonoth Monday night, the tunnel location feature is based on proprietary technologies developed in Israel’s military industrial complex. It includes a series of sensors that send data back to a system that uses algorithms to examine it. Apparently, all of that allows the end-user to spot the underground tunnels accurately, no false readings.
The speedy development cost all of $60 million and no one else but Israel has it. Of course, where else but in Israel are there dedicated terrorists trying to dig across the border to kill innocent civilians?
The question is, according to several Israeli analysts, will the realization that their ace in the hole (literally) is no more serve to deter the Hamas leadership from their ceaseless scheming against Israel, or will it drive them to yet another summer of mad rocket attacks on Israeli civilian centers, resulting in even more Arab death and destruction. The IDF believes—or hopes—that the lesson of 2014 is still fresh in Hamas’s mind. But it should be noted that Hamas and Hezbollah do not attack because they imagine they could win a direct confrontation with Israel — they attack for internal reasons—tighten the social ropes—and for external ones—elicit sympathy and financial support from the Arab world.
Meanwhile, the IDF is investing in finding an effective, permanent solution to the tunnels problem. It will include an upper fence above ground, a lower fence underground, and ongoing operations along the border with Gaza. The IDF has also been training in raiding tunnels and confronting Hamas diggers or fighters. At any given time, the IDF has about 100 engineering machines along the border.
Some analysts in Israel have suggested that the IDF’s technological superiority may have pushed the Hamas to seek its own technological advantage. Realizing that Iron Dome is simply too effective in blocking incoming, largely home-made rockets, Hamas is investing in developing more accurate, longer-range rockets to attempt to penetrate Israeli defenses. It has also invested in developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones, as well as in training special elite forces (about 5,000 members), a naval commando unit, and an army of 800 diggers to keep trying to cut through under the fence.