(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The Israel Defense Forces will soon begin training soldiers serving in elite units in tunnel warfare, Army Radio reported Monday.
The decision followed mission reviews of last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, which led the IDF to conclude that tunnel warfare will likely be part of future conflicts on any front. According to the report, soldiers will be trained and given special equipment to improve their abilities to meet the complex challenges of fighting within the confined spaces of underground tunnels. Given the difficult nature of the terrain, the military’s most skilled units—including elite and reconnaissance units—will participate in the training program.
The Army Radio report stressed that the new training program will not necessarily become the IDF ground forces’ top priority, as tunnel warfare includes many innate disadvantages for fighters. But the report noted that the new training reflects an understanding within the military that Hamas-built terror tunnels have become a part of combat reality, and that the IDF must be able to address the issue.