Netanyahu praises unique Israeli technological breakthrough in tunnel find

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday hailed the IDF for what he called a breakthrough in tunnel detection, hours after the army announced it had located a tunnel meant for attacking Israel reaching from the southern part of the Strip into Israeli territory.

Netanyahu said Israel’s tunnel-finding system was the only one of its kind in the world, though he gave no details on the technology that led to Israeli troops uncovering the tunnel.

“In recent days, the State of Israel has achieved a world breakthrough in its efforts to locate tunnels,” he said. “That doesn’t exist anywhere else. We checked the entire world.”

Earlier in the day, Israeli officials revealed the army had found a concrete-lined tunnel stretching hundreds of meters from Gaza into Israel, reminiscent of dozens of tunnels destroyed by the army during a 50-day war with Hamas-led fighters in 2014 launched in part to thwart the underground passages.

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Speaking to reporters in his Jerusalem office, Netanyahu warned Hamas against trying to harm Israeli citizens and vowed that Jerusalem will continue to invest heavily in mechanisms to detect tunnels dug from Gaza into Israel.

“The government is investing a fortune in thwarting the threat of tunnels. This is an ongoing effort; it does not end overnight; we are investing in it and will continue to invest steadily and firmly,” he said.

“Israel will respond forcefully to any attempt by Hamas to attack its soldiers and attack its citizens,” Netanyahu declared. “I’m sure that Hamas understands this very well.”

The tunnel was detected about a week and a half ago and has since been “neutralized,” an army spokesperson said Monday, but would not elaborate on whether it was destroyed or merely sealed off.

Its exact location is still being under wraps by the military censor, though it does not appear that the tunnel led directly into Holit or Sufa, the Israeli communities closest to the southern Gaza Strip.

Israeli residents near Gaza had complained of hearing digging under their homes in recent months, setting off searches for the tunnels, and Netanyahu and other officials said Israel was working on a secret “solution” to the issue.

Netanyahu said Monday the IDF was acting “around the clock” to ensure their security and their ability to live a life without rocket threats, another offensive weapon employed by Hamas and other Gazan terror groups in recent years.

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