The israel Defence Forces launched Operation Northern Shield to annihilate the underground border tunnels of the Lebanon-based organisation on 4 December. The former Israeli defence minister admitted earlier that the country’s officials had been hiding knowledge of the tunnels’ existence for years to mislead “the other side”.
israel sent 11 members of the Engineering Corps for special training in Europe to excavate hard rock soil like the one on the Lebanese border a year ago, Haaretz reports. According to the outlet, people involved believed that it was routine training as the preparations for Operation Northern Shield, announced on 4 December, were kept secret.
After the Israel Defence Forces recognised the need to deal with the Hezbollah tunnels in 2015, a group of intelligence and army experts suggested a plan to later destroy the tunnels should be prepared. The Engineering Corps determined that the soil at the border with Lebanon was different from the terrain they had to deal with in the areas near the Gaza Strip.
“We realised we had to train people to excavate. We encountered such tunnels in the Second Lebanon War. We called them ‘nature reserves’, which served as underground command centers”, a senior IDF officer said, as cited by Haaretz.
According to the outlet, training in Europe let the Israeli engineers learn from the best experts in the field. The Engineering Corps members who participated in this training are…