update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Bipartisan US bill calls for $30 million more for Israeli anti-tunnel technology

"Increased funding will go towards the development of new technologies to maneuver and support Israel’s security needs and the ultimate defeat of the terror tunnels," stated Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

A Hamas tunnel destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces on Dec. 8, 2023. Credit: Adansijav Official/Shutterstock.
A Hamas tunnel destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces on Dec. 8, 2023. Credit: Adansijav Official/Shutterstock.

A bipartisan group of six congressmen introduced legislation to increase Washington’s annual funding to Israel to locate and destroy terror tunnels from $50 million to $80 million.

“As chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, I am grateful to introduce this vital bipartisan legislation with my pro-Israel colleagues to scale up U.S.-Israel anti-tunneling cooperation,” stated Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

The Israel Defense Forces have been uncovering “more and more of Hamas’s labyrinth of tunnels, where the terrorists not only hide but manufacture weapons, launch missiles and hold hostages” daily, according to Wilson.

“Increased funding will go towards the development of new technologies to maneuver and support Israel’s security needs and the ultimate defeat of the terror tunnels,” he added. “This bill sends a strong message that the U.S. will always stand with Israel.”

Wilson was joined on the United States-Israel Anti-Tunnel Cooperation Enhancement Act by Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.).

“The necessity for expanding this program was clearly and tragically demonstrated by the barbaric Hamas attacks of Oct. 7,” Schneider stated. “Continuing our joint development of advanced anti-tunnel technologies and strategies with Israel will not only help protect our closest ally in the Middle East, it will also help keep Americans more secure here at home, and help support other allies across the world.”

Washington and Jerusalem have worked together for almost 10 years to develop anti-tunnel technology “to address the complex challenges of locating, mapping, destroying and maneuvering through attack tunnels,” the congressmen stated.

“Since Oct. 7, 2023, over 1,500 new terror tunnel shafts built under hospitals, schools and homes in Gaza have been discovered by the Israel Defense Forces,” they stated. “This massive terror infrastructure includes 350 to 450 miles of tunnels, with over 5,700 entrance points.”

The bipartisan group added that Hamas continues to hold more than 100 hostages, including five Americans, captive in Gazan tunnels.

“America faces similar subterranean threats on the Korean Peninsula, the Southern border and in various locations in the Middle East,” the lawmakers stated. “Through this program, Israel shares its counter-tunnel technology with the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security who work to advance this technology further—enhancing our own ability to deal with this growing threat around the world and at our border.”

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