[Freemanlist2] Yaakov Katz - IDF warns of tunnels in West Bank

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IDF warns of tunnels in West Bank
Yaakov Katz, THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 11, 2007
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1170359835798&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

With dozens of tunnels being dug across the Philadelphia Corridor - between 
the Gaza Strip and Egypt - an IDF officer has told The Jerusalem Post that 
he believes it is only a matter of time before Palestinians in the West Bank 
also begin using tunnels in attacks against Israel.

According to the officer, Maj. Eran Davidi, deputy commander of Sayeret 
Yahalom, the Engineering Corps's elite unit, Palestinians could begin 
digging tunnels under the West Bank security fence when it is completed 
since they will be cut off from Israel.

"At first it will start with criminal infiltrations and people looking for 
jobs," he said. "But like the southern border with Egypt, the terrorists 
will then begin to catch a ride on the back of the criminal infrastructure 
and will also use the tunnels."

Responsible for defusing bombs and mines and destroying tunnels, Sayeret 
Yahalom played a key role during the Lebanon war this past summer in 
tracking down and demolishing Hizbullah bunkers and command centers.

The unit has also operated extensively in the Gaza Strip. In the IDF's last 
operation there before the cease-fire went into effect in November, Sayeret 
Yahalom was behind the discovery and demolition of over a dozen tunnels in 
Rafah that were used to smuggle weapons in from Sinai.

Last week, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Chief Yuval Diskin said there 
were at least 10 tunnels being dug from Gaza into Israel intended to be used 
in attacks against Israeli targets, including IDF outposts. He said that 
there were dozens of tunnels being dug in Rafah that are used to smuggle 
weapons into Gaza from the Sinai Desert.

Davidi further revealed that the Palestinians had recently improved their 
defense systems around tunnels and that now almost every tunnel in the Gaza 
Strip was surrounded with booby-traps and explosive devices.

During the operation in Gaza in November, Yahalom discovered a massive 
tunnel being dug inside a chicken coop that was booby-trapped with 
explosives.

He also said that the explosives used by the Palestinians were supplied by 
Iran and Syria and were of high quality.

"We work under the assumption that almost every tunnel is surrounded with 
bombs and booby-traps," Davidi said.
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