Terror Tunnels

Questioning the media spin

The Israeli Army claims to have destroyed 35 terror tunnels (otherwise known as “tunnels”), and yet, remarkably few verifiable photographs have emerged to demonstrate the truth of their claim.

No independent journalists have been escorted into Gaza to view the tunnels as they were being destroyed, which means we only have the word of the wittily-named IDF.

Anyway, in this post, I’m not going to argue about terrorists or Islamists or even Zionists.  I won’t allow myself to be sidetracked by the handbook of spin.

No indeed.  In this post, I’m simply going to ask about the details of how terror tunnels, aka tunnels, are constructed and destroyed.

I’ve only seen a few photos of what the Israelis called a terror tunnel, so you’ll forgive me for not having much information to go on, which is surprising when you consider how technologically advanced Israel is compared to the rest of the world.  You’d imagine they’d at least send in a crack team of anti-terrorist photographers to show the world what the Palestinians have been getting up to in their compound.

I promised not to get political in this, so I won’t suggest that tunnelling is a natural thing for people trapped behind a fence by occupying forces.  I won’t even make a comparison with the Warsaw ghetto where people did exactly that.  Instead, I’ll just concentrate on the details of tunnelling.

As I said, I’ve only seen a few photos of the (terror) tunnels, but that’s fine.   We can take a guess at their dimensions.

My estimate is that they’re about 2 metres high and about a metre wide.  Roughly.  We won’t argue about minor details.

Therefore, a tunnel of let’s say 1 kilometre in length requires the excavation of 2,000 cubic metres of soil, but we’re told by the Israeli military that the tunnels reach right into Israel, perhaps even under the houses of the people in Sderot, for the purposes of kidnapping them, so let’s call it 10 km.

That tunnel would produce 20,000 cubic metres of soil, enough to create a hill 8.5 metres high by 100 metres in diameter.   For old-fashioned people like me, that’s about 30 feet high and 330 feet across.  Quite a mound.

It’s probably reasonable enough to assume that they didn’t dump any of this in the Israeli-occupied area outside the fence, so they had quite a problem getting rid of it.  A 30-foot-high hill is hard to miss, especially if you’re being watched by the most sophisticated surveillance operation in the world.

How did they achieve this feat of covert engineering without being observed?  Did they put the earth in their pockets and walk around a football pitch, whistling nonchalantly and shaking their trousers as the guards watched from their towers?

Now, that’s just one (terror) tunnel, but these extremist militant terrorist people somehow managed to build 30, or was it 35, (terror) tunnels, according to the Israeli Defence Forces.

That’s a lot of football fields, a lot of trouser-shaking and a lot of whistling, without the world’s most sophisticated intelligence service noticing a thing.

Well and good.  Now here’s the second point.

How do you destroy a 10 km tunnel in a week?

Do you systematically travel along its entire length, blowing it up and letting the top cover fall into it?  Does that actually work if the tunnel is deeper than, say 5 metres?  And doesn’t such subsidence leave a clearly-visible trace at the surface?

Surely the IDF would be delighted to produce aerial photographs showing the precise tracks of the destroyed tunnels, based on the surface subsidence?  Wouldn’t that be a major propaganda coup against the terrorists?

Apparently not, since photos of the tunnels before and after demolition are lamentably rare.

If the IDF knew where the tunnels were, why did they not simply close them off wherever they entered Israel, without the need to invade Gaza?  After all, tunnels inside the ghetto were never going anywhere.

Just one final point.  When people are hemmed into a ghetto by overwhelmingly-superior military force, isn’t that what they do?

Dig tunnels?

The children of the Warsaw ghetto survivors should know all about having to do that.




20 thoughts on “Terror Tunnels

  1. I’ve often wondered wher these tunnels (30, 35?) actually open out to in Israel. Would local people not notice Gazans emerging from tunnels? Or taking tons and tons of supplies back to the tunnel for smuggling.


  2. Regarding lack of photos it’s much like the Bin Laden capture circus; we caught the bogey man, we can’t show you any evidence whatsoever of his capture, we can’t show you any evidence of killing him, we can’t give you any evidence of his burial or where it happened but trust us, we got the bogey man.

  3. Not to mention the drones that patrol the skies night and day. Are they as effective as we’ve been told? If Israel knew where the tunnels were, why did they not attack them from their own side first?

    Maybe Sinead, with her considerable engineering expertise, might be able to enlighten us.

  4. Even if we are shown photos of these tunnels – how can we believe that they are even in Gaza? Everything the Israelis tell us about Gaza should be treated with suspicion.

    The link below shows a fake image of a ‘Gaza shopping mall’ where the Palestinians shop ‘for the latest fashions.’ Turns out there is no such place in Gaza, never was.

  5. Photos prove nothing, but they do enable us to interrogate the truth of what is being said, as your own example shows.

  6. Thanks for posting Paul.

    I was hoping to find the answer to Bock’s poser about where does ALL that earth go from your post – but still no clue!

    Hell, I see one pic of a truck being driven down a tunnel – wider tunnels means even more earth to track!

    I’ll keep the brain working on it for a while longer – maybe there is some other articles that can help us?

  7. From the article Paul linked to –
    An inside look at the tunnels under Gaza and the men who risk their lives to bring in essential supplies.
    The land, sea, and air blockade has been a disaster for such a small territory and has almost stopped daily life from functioning.

    One of the ways in which Gazans have challenged the blockade is by digging underground tunnels between the Egypt-Gaza borders, in order to smuggle basic goods.

    Basic supplies are prohibited by Israelis from entering Gaza.
    These are NOT terror tunnels, and they’re not leading to Israeli territory it would appear.
    And the Israelis have apparently vowed to destroy the tunnels before any truce.

    I thought you had said adios Toffy? You’re coming across as a bit of a smarmy fucker.
    Why don’t you deal with the point Bock made – “When people are hemmed into a ghetto by overwhelmingly-superior military force, isn’t that what they do? Dig tunnels”.

  8. Well, we either try and find out how the tunnels (many more and bigger) are dug to Egypt and apply the same explanation to Bock’s poser as to how the fewer and smaller tunnels are made into Israel, or we accept the apparent fact that Palestinians only dig tunnels to Egypt.

    But then, the poser is tougher, where the hell is all the earth going??

  9. On western main stream media there was a video clip of Israeli soldiers pulling a motorbike from what looked like a hole in the ground but this proves nothing and could easily have been stage managed by the Israeli Ministry of Truth.

    If there was a network of ‘Terror’ Tunnels leading into Israel then you would imagine the Israelis would want do everything they could to prove it to all those countries and millions of free thinking individuals around the world who are turning their backs on Israel and the main stream media.

    The ‘Terror’ Tunnels narrative sounds like a bogey man story with which to keep Israelis scared and brainwashed. On a happier note there are many jewish people around the world who can’t stand the Zios and increasing numbers of young Israelis are wakening up.

    They realise they are being used and recently there was a protest march in New York where jewish people came out and said ‘not in our name’.

  10. @ Artemis…SMARMY?

    Dictionary.com: “excessively or unctuously flattering, ingratiating, servile”


  11. Riddle me this.

    How did Egypt manage to close down all the tunnels, far more of them than the ones into Israel, without killing anyone?

  12. Ok, you have me; how did Egypt manage to close down all the tunnels?

    Your riddles, my questions, so much to resolve!

    I know, isn’t it time for another bout of name calling?

  13. Please, Tommy. That’s not the way we discuss things on this site.

    Toff, please stop doing Joffrey impressions.

  14. Toff is that annoying child in the playground who keeps jabbing people with a pencil and then wonders why he gets a slap or a kick in the arse.

  15. Bock,

    I think that the only logical explanation for these tunnels, if they existed at all in the first place, is that they were already there from before, maybe centuries old, but maybe as recent as WWI or WWII security preparations.

    Other historic tunneling such as the Warsaw Ghetto largely incorporated sewers and other pre-existing subterranean constructions. Old cities and castles sometimes included defensive tunnels as well as walls for their defense. I worked in a large building once in which there was a tunnel system as war preparation. They were bricked off in peacetime but left ready for reuse.

  16. NOW we’re getting somewhere – thanks for that post iap337.

    So, following Bock’s approach, if we could explode (oops sorry) the amount estimated of earth that has disappeared, against the capacity of the average trouser leg (per day), and then explode (sorry again) that number against the number of trouser legs that we think would go un-noticed by the IDF, then this would give us the approximate number of years that was needed to build the tunnels.

    We could then at least decide if this period is feasible from an historical viewpoint.

    We’re getting closer….

  17. Some V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft ordered by Israel. A new toy to play with. Bet you can’t wait to try them out! Those Palestinians wont stand a chance. Great fun when they have no anti-aircraft defenses or fighter aircraft. Freedom? Human rights? here’s your rights – BOOM. Watch ‘ em burn. Chuck Hagel – “Israel will buy six V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for its air force. … “Israel will get six V-22s .. The Israeli and American defense relationship is stronger than ever.”
    Israel is a US military base masquerading as a nation.

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