Israel Shares Anti-Tunnel Tech With U.S.
WASHINGTON [MENL] -- Israel has been sharing technology to detect border
tunnels with the United States.
Industry sources said Israeli teams have been briefing U.S. government
agencies on technology and methods to detect tunnels from
neighboring Mexico. They said the Israeli briefings were based on
anti-tunnel operations against the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip.
"The Israelis are testing methods and technology and sharing this with
their American partners, who are financing this project," a source said.
The sources said Israel believes it reached a breakthrough in detecting
border infiltration tunnels from the Gaza Strip. They cited an Israeli
announcement that the military discovered a two-kilometer tunnel from
eastern Gaza into the Jewish state.
"There are many similarities between the terrain along Gaza and that
near the Mexican border," the source said.
The sources said the U.S. Homeland Security Department was working to
sponsor tests of an Israeli tunnel-detection system, dubbed "Iron Dome
Underground," at points along the southern U.S. border with Mexico. They
said the administration of President Barack Obama was working to allocate
$120 million over the next three years to develop tunnel detection.
Israel, led by such companies as Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced
Defense Systems, has not detailed the latest anti-tunnel prototype. But the
Israeli media said the system, designed to locate and measure tunnels, was
based on sensors, aerostats, intelligence as well as an underground barrier.
Congress plans to advance Israel-U.S. cooperation against border tunnels
in 2016. In April, the House Armed Services Committee amended the defense
budget to include research and development by the two countries on
"We know that if Hamas has used tunnels in successful terrorist attacks,
it is only a matter of time before terrorists elsewhere use tunnels as
well," Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, said. "Tunnels are a
threat to American bases and embassies around the world, and are already a
serious threat on our own southern border. For all these reasons, it only
makes sense to partner with Israel, like we have done on missile defense, to
learn with them about how to defend against tunnels."