In a highly critical draft report that was submitted to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ya’alon and IDF Chief of General Staff Eizenkot, Israel’s State Comptroller pointed to severe gaps and deficiencies in the state’s planning for and dealing with the threat of tunnels, on all fronts.

“Severe deficiencies in preparations for tunnel threat”

“Severe deficiencies in preparations for tunnel threat” Photo Credit: Reuters / Channel 2 News

On the backdrop of the growing concerns in Israel from tunnels that are being dug in order to attack Gaza Envelope towns, Israel’s State Comptroller Yosef Shapira asked to hand over a draft report as early as today (Thursday) to the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister and the Chief of General Staff, regarding the Israeli security system’s preparations to deal with the threat of tunnels.

Despite the fact that the report has yet to be completed, Shapira asked to submit it today “in light of the apparent urgency of the issue of tunnels on all fronts.” The State Comptroller’s office reported that the draft report points to “gaps and deficiencies, some of them severe, in preparations for the threat of tunnels and in dealing with them.” The report addresses the years prior to Operation Protective Edge, as well as the time of the military operation itself.

The State Comptroller’s office first started monitoring the issue of terror tunnels in February of 2014, and a year-and-a-half later launched an extensive examination into the relevant developments during Operation Protective Edge. Another chapter of the report, which inspects the functioning and decision making processes in the Security Cabinet of Israel as well as the Cabinet’s relationship with the IDF’s leadership, is also due to be submitted soon. The full report is expected to also address the issue of a technological solution to the tunnel threat.

Received the draft report

Received the draft report Photo Credit: Haim Tzah, GPO / Channel 2 News

Earlier today, Gaza Envelope local authority leaders met with senior-level IDF officials, who clarified that the IDF plans on substantially strengthening the effort to locate attack tunnels. “We will reinforce security in the area, both in order to locate tunnels and in order to improve the sense of security,” they stated.

Yesterday it was reported that Israeli security forces are working on a new system that will help identify and deal with tunnels. The cost of deploying such a system all around the Gaza Strip is estimated at 2.5 billion shekels. According to IDF sources, the innovative system could become operational within months and could be spread throughout the 65 kilometers surrounding the Gaza Strip. At this point, it is only funding issues that stand in the way of its implementation.