LandMiddle EastTerrorism

Israel Border Town Residents Panic Over Underground ‘Drilling’

Residents of an Israeli town bordering the West Bank fear tunnels are being dug from across the border due to sounds emanating from underground.

Several residents of Kochav Yair-Tzur Yigal, which lies 800 meters from the West Bank city of Qalqilya, have reported hearing “drilling and excavation noises,” with some even video recording it.

“I felt like there was an earthquake far off like the bed I was lying on was moving and sailing,” The Jerusalem Post quoted resident Baruch Ben Neria as saying. 

“At first, I thought it might be heavy trucks passing on the road,” he added, “but there weren’t any trucks in the middle of the night.”

Investigation Expected 

Local authorities have referred the matter to the Israeli Defense Forces and are expecting an investigation.

“Any strange sound we hear could sound to us like digging tunnels,” the outlet quoted the head of the town’s regional council, Yuval Arad, as saying. 

“On this issue, I believe the army will act, it is investing great efforts into it precisely because of the strategic threat of an infiltration that a fence won’t stop.”

“If they enter from here,” Arad added, “it is into the soft underbelly of Israel. A horror story like what we saw on October 7 would be just the beginning of what we would see here, too.”

Al-Shifa tunnel
A tunnel allegedly created by Hamas outside the Al-Shifa hospital. Photo: Israel Defense Forces via X

Similar Concerns Elsewhere

Similar concerns were shared by the residents of Bat Hefer, a settlement less than 1 kilometer (.62 miles) from the West Bank city of Tulkarm.

Tests by a private company did not yield any evidence of tunnels, but further investigations are expected by a military engineering unit and a soil testing team from the Geophysical Institute, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Hamas Tunnel

Residents’ fear stems from the recent discovery of a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) tunnel near the Erez border crossing between Gaza and Israel.

One end opens north of Gaza City and another 100 meters (328 feet) south of the border crossing.

It would have taken years to build the tunnel, costing “millions of dollars,” Reuters quoted chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari as saying.

It is up to 50 meters (164 feet) deep and up to 3 meters (10 feet) high and wide, enough for vehicles to drive through. 

Hagari, however, didn’t specify whether the tunnel was used in the October 7 attack, which saw the killing of over a thousand Israelis.




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