Israel's State Comptroller Probing Steps Taken to Counter Hamas Tunnel Threat

Inquiry into defense establishment's preparedness began months before latest Gaza operation.

Inside the tunnel, March 20, 2014.
Inside the tunnel, March 20, 2014. IDF Spokesman

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira is conducting an inquiry into the defense establishment's preparations for the threat of Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip, according to Globes.

Sources told the news site that the probe began months ago, long before the exposure of numerous tunnels during Operation Protective Edge. The Israel Defense Forces ground incursion into Gaza was launched in order to "damage the underground terror tunnels constructed in Gaza leading into Israeli territory," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of the ground offensive.

The defense establishment, in particular, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, has been sharply criticized for underestimating the scope of the tunnel threat and failing to provide a technological means of locating the underground network, despite being warned of the danger almost a decade ago.

The inquiry by the State Comptroller includes an examination of both the Gaza Strip and other fronts, according to Globes, and will probe the decision-making behind the challenge of finding a technological solution to the tunnel threat.