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