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Israel Establishes Its First Anti-Tunnel Combat Unit

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Israel Establishes Its First Anti-Tunnel Combat Unit

Click to see full-size image. IMAGE: Iidf.il

Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) are establishing a unit specifically aimed at combatting enemy tunnels on the northern border with Lebanon.

The necessity for this was established by Operation Northern Shield, which took place between December 4th, 2018 and January 13th, 2019, which saw 5 ‘Hezbollah tunnels’ destroyed. With the 6th being discovered and destroyed approximately 5 months later on May 29th, 2019.

Tel Aviv claims that Hezbollah is expected to continue its tunnel endeavors. Therefore, Israel needs to be ready, thus as part of the 91st division, a brand new, separate unit is being established to specifically combat enemy tunneling attempts.

The unit must be able to detect the construction of tunnels, study their routes, and then destroy said tunnels.

The unit commander is Captain Moshe Asraf, and according to him, the type of soil and, accordingly, the construction of tunnels in the north is completely different from that in the south, on the border with the Gaza Strip.

As a result, out of pure necessity, it was decided to create a unit specializing specifically in the northern tunnels. At this stage, there are no tunnels crossing the border, but the new unit is proactive and is monitoring the situation.

The unit is comprised of engineering troops, most of its personnel are operators of heavy engineering equipment. Since the unit uses a lot of non-standard equipment for the tunnel hunting, a special 3-week course was held on working with this equipment. Prior to this, all operators passed the regular heavy engineering equipment course and were then selected in the new unit, following a special interview with the unit commander.

The unit’s equipment includes bulldozers (Dahpor), bulldozers-loaders (Shufel), excavators (Bager), drilling equipment (Clay Kiduah) based on excavators (Mahperon) and compact Bob Dozers, as well as special technological equipment for mapping tunnel routes.

As already mentioned, the 3 main elements of the unit’s work are the discovery of tunnels, their research and study, and at the end of the process, destruction. Studying the tunnels makes it possible to understand what is going on inside them, how Hezbollah works, how best to destroy this particular tunnel. It also allegedly helps to show what awaits Israel in the next potential war with Lebanon.

In addition to the specific tasks of fighting tunnels, the new unit is a full-time engineering unit as part of the 91st division.

The division had no such unit prior to this. The unit is engaged in the standard work of an engineering unit in the division area: the construction of barriers and various land works.

On the one hand, they allegedly make it more difficult for Hezbullah to break through the Israeli border, and on the other, it’s necessary to ensure quick and safe access to the contact line for IDF units.

Unlike the engineering units attached to the division in other parts, this unit constantly operates in the northern border zone.

Accordingly, it should be well aware of the terrain and type of soil in each section of the border, and accordingly, be able to quickly complete any task in the area.

Israel Establishes Its First Anti-Tunnel Combat Unit

Click to see full-size image. IMAGE: Iidf.il

Israel Establishes Its First Anti-Tunnel Combat Unit

Click to see full-size image. IMAGE: Iidf.il

Israel Establishes Its First Anti-Tunnel Combat Unit

Click to see full-size image. IMAGE: Iidf.il

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