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Tunnel discovered during operation Protective Edge. Photo courtesy of the IDF Spokesman's Office
Tunnel discovered during operation Protective Edge. Photo courtesy of the IDF Spokesman’s Office

It sounds suspicious, doesn’t it? Suddenly the IDF is ready to deploy a tunnel detection system along the Gaza border. Suddenly a system that can be field tested pops up. I think it’s suspicious.

After years of neglect a field test is suddenly ready. If I was a resident of the region surrounding Gaza I wouldn’t feel safe just yet. Yesterday IDF representatives stated that a tunnel detection system will be deployed along the Gaza border, soon. The deployment will be a part of an field test that will determine if there’s a technological solution that can detect tunnels undergoing construction.

The system is an array of sensors that supposedly detects construction noises. Experts doubt whether a system like that can detect tunnel construction within Gaza itself, even close to the border, and they stress that even if it works, there’s still the problem of tunnels that were already completed and remain prepared for future use.

The system will be deployed soon to test its ability to detect tunnels and new underground construction.

iHLS – Israel Homeland Security

The upcoming field test is based on a system of acoustic sensors that were previously tested in a special IDF tunnel site. Now the IDF says the sensors were upgraded. Suddenly the system is “operationally mature”, suddenly they are ready for an operational test along the Gaza border rather than deployment in a testing site. I think it’s highly suspicious.

Over the last few days a few people mentioned a physical barrier that would block the path of offensive tunnels into Israel. If the authorities will decide to implement this type of solution it will take years to construct, with costs estimated at more than 25 billion shekels.

I wouldn’t hold my breath if I was a resident of a town near Gaza.

It seems that after all that the only viable solution is deterrence. An equation that says any attempt to use tunnels to infiltrate Israel will be cost the Hamas a lot, too much. Only that will have any effect, until the technology will actually be mature enough to protect residents of southern Israeli towns.