The Israeli Army has begun perhaps the most difficult phase of the eradication of Hamas, the tunnel warfare in the 300 miles of tunnels beneath Gaza. The IDF is employing drones, combat robots and attack dogs in its efforts to free the 240 hostages and smoke out the terrorists hiding them underground.
Yesterday, Irish-Israeli hostage Emily Hand experienced her 9th birthday in the underground terror tunnels held by Hamas.
Can you imagine what the poor girl and her family are going through?
As the Israeli Army begins its attack on the Hamas nerve center hidden beneath al-Shifa Hospital and other civilian buildings it uses as shields, rescuing hostages like Emily has to be first priority. To achieve this, specialist units are employing modern technology and tunnel warfare skills in the rats’ nest of terror tunnels Hamas has built with Western funding since 2005, known as the “Gaza Metro”.
Instead of just flooding the tunnel complex with salt water from the nearby Mediterranean, or using poison gas like Arab dictators do, the IDF looks to be preparing for grueling underground tunnel warfare, even worse than the urban combat the IDF has been facing in Gaza City, in order to save hostages like Emily.
Emily Hand turned 9 today as a hostage of Hamas in Gaza. This little girl is all alone in the hands of terrorists.
— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) November 17, 2023
“Israel’s military has deployed a complex array of technologies to probe and attempt to destroy the underground complexes — and eventually the Hamas leadership — including around Al Shifa hospital,” Bloomberg reports.
“From the air, surveillance drones seek to detect the hidden structures, while warplanes are equipped with bunker-buster bombs designed to penetrate hardened structures to reach deep below the ground. On the ground, bulldozers clear areas suspected to be above the subterranean network while attack dogs, unmanned vehicles and robots are used to help explore the underground terrain,” Bloomberg reports.
President Donald Trump famously decorated Belgian Malinois “Conan the Dog” for helping track down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Berisha, Syria 2019, who was hiding like a little bitch behind two children in a tunnel when Conan found his sorry self. The Calif of the Islamic State killed himself and the children by detonating a suicide vest. Many Muslims are afraid of dogs, especially black dogs, because the Hadiths (Sayings of the Prophet Muhammed) call them “the devil among dogs,” ordering Muslims “to kill dogs.”
Hopefully, Hamas commander Yahya Sinwar will soon suffer a similiar fate at the paws and jaws of a Belgian Malinois.
Also in the military’s arsenal is a new weapon: a “sponge bomb,” a chemical grenade that doesn’t contain explosives but rapidly expands and solidifies foam to seal off entrances, Bloomberg reports.
The IDF debunked claims by pro-Hamas media that Israel had ordered the evacuation of Shifa hospital, saying the evacuation came at the request of hospital officials: “This morning, we responded to the request of the Shifa Hospital management and opened a secure passage south for civilians in the hospital. We also brought in food and water into the hospital complex,” IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari said.
Hagari said the four main objectives of the IDF as it operates at Shifa Hospital are gathering information on the hostages, locating weapons and command and control rooms, finding terrorists in the hospital complex, and making a significant effort to uncover the underground area underneath the hospital and to destroy it. “Even at this hour, special forces are operating in the shaft that we discovered last night at the Shifa hospital. We will distribute the visual documentation from there, in the near future,” said Hagari.
IDF soldiers of the Paratroopers Brigade, together with the Armored Corps, Engineering Corps and the Israeli Air Force, have located approximately 35 tunnel shafts as well as a large number of weapons and eliminated terrorists in the Sheikh Ijlin and Rimal areas of Gaza, Arutz Sheva reports.
Israeli Army spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht posted the first footage from inside a Hamas terror tunnel under the Al-Shifa hospital, praising the professionalism of Air Force elite special forces team ‘Shaldag’ (Kingfisher).
The brief clip showed an unground bunk used by terrorists, full of AK-47s and magazines.
Shaldag has been fighting Hamas since the barbaric October 7th terror massacre, and eliminated terrorists at the Al Be’eri kibbutz, where some of the most barbaric terrorist war crimes took place.
Hecht noted following points about the tunnel infrastructure Hamas has been building with US and UN aid money for years:
- The complexity. This tunnel wasn’t built in a day, and it wasn’t built cheap. It’s got deep concrete foundations, lighting, electricity, and even a spiral staircase.
- The depth. I can’t share the exact depth with you, but any tunnel you need a drone to explore, well, that’s pretty substantial.
- The location. The tunnel is located in the Shifa hospital complex, near the Qatari section, and was hidden beneath a car, with weapons nearby.
Specialists from the Oketz (Sting) K-9 units and Yahalom (Diamond) combat engineers have been training in tunnels for this purpose for years. The Samur (Weasel) unit of the Yahalom combat engineers specialize in breeching, entering, demining and destroying terror tunnels. The Hamas tunnels in Gaza are believed to extend up to 70 meters underground.
After a tunnel is breeched, the IDF may deploy drones and IRIS „throwbots“, using specialized sensors to detect terrorists, hostages and materiel. The robots can identify and detonate booby traps, clearing the way for the Weasel engineers, who have been trained and desensitized to tunnel warfare conditions. They coordinate with other IDF Special Forces like Sayeret Matkal and Shayetet 13.
The IDF’s engineering corps has formed tunnel reconnaissance units equipped with ground and aerial sensors, ground-penetrating radar and special drilling systems to locate the tunnels, Frontier India writes. Additionally, they have received special equipment to enable vision underground. Standard issue night vision goggles require some ambient light to function effectively. But, while moving through tunnels without natural light, the troops will rely on thermal technology to ‘see’ in complete darkness. Additionally, new radios designed for use in the extreme conditions below ground have been created.
The ‘sponge bomb’ is designed to prevent soldiers from being ambushed as they advance into the tunnel network, effectively sealing off openings that Hamas could exploit for attacks, accroding to Frontier India. These specialised devices are enclosed in a plastic container and consist of two separate liquids divided by a metal partition. When this barrier is removed, the compounds mix as the soldier places the ‘bomb’, or throws it further ahead. Israeli soldiers have been observed using these devices during exercises in 2021, with a mock tunnel system set up at the Tze’elim army base in the Negev desert near the Gaza border. The ‘sponge bomb’, technically a liquid emulsion, poses risks during handling, however, and there have been cases of Israeli soldiers losing their vision due to mishandling the mixture.
According to John Spencer, a former US major who leads Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point, ‘Combat in Subterranean Environments’ is more akin to underwater warfare than traditional building-based warfare, Frontier India writes. “Equipment designed for surface use is not effective in underground environments. Specialised tools are required for such tasks as visibility, respiration, navigation, mapping, communication and deploying lethal measures in subterranean settings.”
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