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Sunday, August 10, 2014

The other terror tunnel network threatening Israel

Last week, the Algemeiner reported that the Israeli government is investing millions of shekels to find another network of terror tunnels: the one dug by Hezbullah from Lebanon into Israel.
The issue first came to the public’s attention during the 2006 war against Hezbollah, when the Shi’ite terrorists popped out of well-concealed, planned and equipped tunnels to attack IDF soldiers – often with lethal results.
A renewed public awareness of the issue emerged when residents of Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv and Kiryat Shmona reported that they heard muffled voices beneath their homes and suspected that tunnels were being dug under their feet, not unlike similar reports from Gaza-area residents.
Last week, Kiryat Shmona Mayor Nissim Malka asked Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to investigate the issue when the fighting in the south ebbs.
Residents “have complained of hearing noises coming from under the ground. I have heard these complaints several times, but yesterday, when I came back from a tour of the Gaza border communities, I understood,” Malka wrote.
“If this is what they did in the south, I am certain [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah is not sitting idly and giving out candy,” he said.
While the sandy and clay-like soil near Gaza is relatively easy to dig through, the boulder-strewn and rocky hills on Israel’s northern frontier are far harder to tunnel into. However, concerned ministry officials have turned to geologists at Tel Aviv University to investigate the potential subterranean threat.
“I can tell you that the issue of tunnels from Lebanon to Israel is really disturbing the security echelon,” one geologist said, adding that “There’s been a lot of talk about it and concerns.”
Lee Smith reports that Israel has much to fear
“Hassan Nasrallah says Hezbollah has a two-part operational plan,” says Shimon Shapira. “One is rocket fire on Tel Aviv and two is conquest of the Galilee. I wondered what he meant by that—how is Hezbollah going to invade the Galilee, take hostages, capture villages, and overrun military installations? But we’re learning from what is happening now. Nasrallah means Hezbollah is going to penetrate Israel through tunnels.”
The difference between Hamas’s underground network and Hezbollah’s, explain experts, is the topography. It’s easier to dig tunnels in the Gaza sand than in the rocky pastures and rich soil of the Galilee. The catch is that the latter are also harder to destroy since they are further fortified by nature.
Several Israeli journalists are reporting that “the fiasco of the tunnels,” as Yossi Melman calls it, might have been avoided. Either military and security officials were aware of the extent of Hamas’s network and didn’t do enough about it, or they ran up against bureaucratic roadblocks. Whether the IDF needs to detail a specific unit to monitor and uproot the tunnels that cross into Israel on its southern and northern borders, one fact is plain: For decades Israel’s traditional military doctrine has been to fight its enemies on the other side of the wire. However, its enemies’ new North Korean-inspired doctrine is to go under the wire. If Israel doesn’t deal with first Hamas’s tunnels and then Hezbollah’s, the next war it faces may well be inside Israel itself.
Israel has been aware of this since at least 2006 when Gilad Shalit was kidnapped through a tunnel.

Hezbullah doesn't have to deal with a blockade and therefore has many more resources with which to dig tunnels than does Hamas. And yet, Israel has done nothing about it. Why?

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