Yossi Langosky, the IDF officer who established the technology department of the army's Intelligence Unit, said Wednesday that all of Israel's land borders – north, south, and east – were vulnerable to “tunnel attacks” by terrorists, similar to the ones conducted by Hamas before and during Operation Protective Edge last summer, according to NRG. The IDF can develop solutions to defend the country against such attacks – but it is going to take a revision of policy and outlook.
Speaking Wednesday at an army gathering discussing military defense techniques, Langosky, a winner of the Israel Prize, said that terrorists relied on the “tunnel option” as their ace in the hole against Israel, because they know the country has been unable to prevent their use. “The terrorists continue to dig tunnels in Gaza and Lebanon. Ten years ago, I told Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who was then Northern IDF Commander, that Hezbollah was already digging tunnels," he said.
“The greatest danger of these tunnels is if a terror group would seize an area, especially one important for national defense,” said Langosky. “It would be easy for them to kidnap soldiers or civilians from sensitive sites.”
Can the problem be solved? Yes, said Langosky – but the IDF and defense establishment are going to have to do some rethinking. “The key element is to identify tunnels, and there are technologies to do this in use in the oil industry. Tunnel digging creates seismic signals, and there are solutions to detecting these, even deep underground, that have been in use for more than a decade. With a network of sensors near the border, it would be possible to cover the entire area and get alerts on digging activity,” he said.
Langosky said that he and others have been trying to warn the IDF about the dangers – and suggest solutions – for at least a decade. In a sharp debate that followed, Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Naveh said that it was unfair for him to make those accusations without an authorized individual from the IDF who was familiar with the matter present.