Dateline Jerusalem — I am fascinated by Israeli intelligence, technology and ingenuity.
Start with the Iron Dome aerial defense system. It was invented to shoot down rockets and missiles that rain on Israeli cities, thus limiting the number of Israeli civilian casualties.
The Iron Dome is why there was an extremely low number of Israeli civilian deaths during the war with Hamas three years ago. It kept intercepting rockets, missiles and mortars launched from Gaza.
Although its development was partially funded by the U.S., Israel designed and manufactured the system.
Israel now is developing an underground Iron Dome system to detect and locate Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror attack tunnels that reach inside Israel.
Our country now has its own underground tunnels near Gaza that are equipped with seismic sensors to detect and monitor underground vibrations.
This reminds me what goes on in detecting earthquakes in California. Technology personnel, the IDF and intelligence personnel like Shin Bet are working on perfecting the underground system.
During the war three years ago, Israel destroyed 30 Hamas terror tunnels.
However, political pressure from the U.S., Europe and the U.N. caused Israel to enter into a “cease fire” with Hamas and the Palestinians. This prevented Israel from destroying all the tunnels at that time.
For the Palestinians, the cease fire was just a means to rearm and rebuild their tunnels. Their goals: To infiltrate Israel with death squads, to kidnap and murder civilians.
The tunnels also are used to store weapons, rockets, missiles and explosives. Since the war, Israel has continued to destroy these tunnels.
They are quite sophisticated. Several hundred yards long, some can be found 30 yards below ground. Lined with cement, they have electricity and ventilation, and rail tracks to cart away the dirt that accumulates from all the digging.
Two weeks ago Israel detected and destroyed an Islamic Jihad tunnel that actually had made its way underneath Israel.
Fourteen terrorists were killed, including two high-ranking Islamic Jihad field commanders. They claimed this was a declaration of war by Israel.
The Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported the terrorists raised their state of readiness to the highest level. They vowed to carry out attacks.
Furthermore, another senior field commander, found hiding in the West Bank, was arrested.
Last Monday, in anticipation of a possible terror attack with missiles and rockets from Gaza, the IDF deployed Iron Dome batteries throughout Israel. There was confusion and panic on Tuesday morning when Tel Aviv awoke to a Code Red Siren.
A false alarm. Usually a Code Red blares just before a rocket lands. Other than that mistaken alarm, the country seems to be relatively quiet. Yet Israel never rests.
It always is alert, continuously inventing means to protect our country through technology and intelligence.