Yesterday (April 18), Israel released information on last week's discovery of a Hamas tunnel reaching under the border between Gaza and southern Israel. The tunnel opening was a few meters inside Israel. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) found no weapons in the tunnel and they believe, therefore, that it was for future and not imminent use.

The tunnel was located by new technology developed over the past 2 years in Israel. It can detect very small spaces located as deep as 40 meters underground according to a senior Southern Command officer.

Field trials began recently and this is the first tunnel discovered with it. The breakthrough methodology for tunnel discovery is being followed with interest by representatives from other countries. No information on the technology is being released.

The IDF instructed Israelis living in the region, including farmers in fields adjacent to the tunnel, to go on with their lives as usual.

Tunnels Discovered Opening Into Israel During Operation Protective Edge

Perhaps the most blood-chilling experience for me during the war in summer 2014 against Hamas was learning about the Hamas terror tunnels reaching like octopus tentacles into Israeli territory. A tunnel had been used as early as 2006, when the young Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, was kidnapped and held for ransom for 5 years, finally exchanged for about 1000 Arab Palestinian prisoners in Israel jails.

During Operation Protective Edge, 14 tunnels were discovered, some of which had been used by Hamas militants who emerged on Israeli soil not far from IDF positions. In these cases, Israeli soldiers were ambushed and engaged in combat on Israeli soil.

Two tunnels openings were found in close proximity to residential areas, one only a kilometer away and the other 4 kilometers away.

Before the war had ended, we heard reports of the sinister intentions of Hamas: they were reportedly planning a Jewish New Year attack on kibbutzim in the south. They intended to extend the tunnels deep into the farming communities, bypassing security gates at the entrance to emerge while the entire kibbutz membership was in the communal dining hall celebrating the holiday meal.

The Jewish New Year falls in September or October each year and the fact that the war broke out in July foiled their plans.

During the war, we also watched TV interviews with kibbutz members who had reported hearing banging noises underneath their homes, reports that were ignored. This does not happen anymore. Now, regardless of how far one is from the border with Gaza, all reports of suspicious underground noisesare investigated.

This latest news about the success of the new technology to discover tunnels is a relief, but we also know that for every tunnel discovered there remain many more as yet unknown.

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