[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: Until now problems with the efficacy of
anti-smuggling operations on narrow Philadelphi Corridor, that runs between
the Gaza Strip and Egypt and was abandoned by the IDF when Israel retreated
from the Gaza Strip, was used as a trump card against proposals to retake
the Philadelphi Corridor. After all, what's the point of endangering
soldiers and taking a lot of diplomatic heat if the smuggling tunnels
continue to operate despite the Israeli presence. But if the IDF has come
up with a way to detect the tunnels this means a dramatic shift in the
IDF hopes new technology would end terrorists' tunneling activity
Soldiers in prestigious IDF program develop system that could allow early
detection of tunnels by means of sensors and oil exploration devices •
Experimental deployment expected by year's end • IDF attacks terrorist squad
preparing to launch rockets.
Israel Hayom Staff 3 July 2012
The Israel Defense Forces plans to install a new underground system along
the Gaza border to detect tunneling activity in its early stages, Army Radio
reported Monday. According to the report, over the past several months the
army has carried out a series of tests near the Kerem Shalom border crossing
and declared the new technology, called "Strong Number," a success. The
system will eventually be deployed along the entire border aiming to avert
all cross-border raids and to detect arm smuggling.
An IDF spokesperson told Army Radio on Monday that the system is considered
reliable. It is not prone to false positive detections, and may even prove
to be the ultimate weapon in combating tunnel-related terror activity.
Palestinians terrorists used a tunnel in the 2006 cross-border raid near the
Kerem Shalom border crossing in which Gilad Schalit was captured. Schalit
was returned in 2011 as part of the prisoner swap with Hamas, the terrorist
organization that controls the Gaza Strip. In 2007, State Comptroller Micha
Lindenstrauss faulted the Israeli authorities not properly addressing the
threat tunnels pose on Israel.
According to the report, Deputy IDF Chief of General Staff Maj. Gen. Yair
Naveh gave the green light on the project, which has been run by the IDF
Ground Forces Technology Division. A private company will be in charge of
installing the technology along the border after the state issues the
relevant tender, Army Radio reported.
A senior officer in the Technology Division command told Army Radio that the
system will likely be in place along 10 km (6.2 miles) by the end of 2012,
which will allow the army to gauge its operational success before expanding
"The IDF believes that a solution has been found to the tunneling problem;
we will soon be able to overcome this complex challenge, " the officer said.
"What we have is a reliable system that seldom fails."
Army Radio said the estimated cost of the project is 200 million shekels
($51 million). All three of the systems' developers hail from the IDF's
prestigious technology training program, Talpiot. The Israeli online news
source, NRG, reported Monday that the developers used existing technologies,
such as sensors used by the Israeli Navy and geophones used for oil
exploration, to develop the new system.
Meanwhile, the Israel Air Force attacked a terrorist squad in the northern
Gaza Strip on Monday as it was preparing to launch rockets on Israel. A
statement released by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the precise hit
successfully averted rocket fire. "The IDF will continue to operate with
strength and determination against anyone who uses terror against the
residents of the State of Israel," read a statement on the IDF website