The Israel Defense Forces have identified the approximately five hundred Hamas subterranean terror tunnels as a critical threat and have been working to neutralize them in the last few years. This has created a significant challenge as these tunnels are extremely well defended and include large sections located at considerable depths and in complex geographies along the Gaza border.
To address this challenge and protect Israeli citizens, the IDF has been developing an innovative strategy termed the ‘Gaza Metro’. This strategy relies on a combination of technology and targeted commando operations.
In terms of technology, the IDF has been developing an array of cutting-edge sensing and mapping technologies such as ground sensors, seismic sensors, sonar, radar, and lasers. These sensors can effectively map out the entire subterranean landscape, including detecting different types of material, such as bricks, stones, and sand in order to identify underground bunkers, tunnels, and weapons caches.
Additionally, the IDF has deployed a new access and mapping robot, dubbed Rabbit Hole, that is capable of exploring narrow tunnels while providing operators with a live aerial view of the tunnels.
Once the tunnel structure and structure are mapped out, the IDF can then initiate targeted commando operations against any identified targets in the tunnel. The commandos use a combination of explosives and specialized sensors to identify and detonate explosive devices in order to ensure their safety and the safety of surrounding areas.
The combination of these technologies and strategically deployed commandos has already proved successful in neutralizing a number of Hamas tunnels, and the IDF is continuing to improve and refine their strategy in order to address the remaining 4-500 kilometers of tunnels in order to protect the people of Israel.