Netanyahu: IDF Probably on Verge of Finding Solution to Gaza Tunnels

Money for constructing obstacle on Gaza border has already been allocated, prime minister tells regional council heads.

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IDF soldiers inspect the entrance to a Hamas tunnel on the Gaza border during Operation Protective Edge, 2014.Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israel Defense Forces is "probably on the verge of finding a solution for the Gaza Strip tunnels," during a Wednesday meeting with heads of regional councils situated near Gaza. 

According to a senior official who was present at the meeting, Netanyahu added that funds for constructing an obstacle near the border fence have already been allocated. "The money is waiting for the fence, and not the other way around," Netanyahu said. 

After the meeting, Eshkol Regional Council head Gadi Yarkoni said that "the prime minister was matter-of-fact. On the most important issue in the talk, about the tunnels, he gave us an excellent answer." Yarkoni said that he believes that "the IDF has already picked the technology it wants in this regard." 

Earlier this month, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira’s submitted to senior officials a draft report on the threat of tunnels from the Gaza Strip indicating “gaps and failures, some of them serious, in preparations to meet the threat of the tunnels and in dealing with them.”

Shapira gave the report to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot for their responses, after which a final report will be written. He said the gaps and failures were present both in the years before the war in Gaza the summer of 2014, and during the fighting itself.