Israel tackles the threat of Hamas’ extensive tunnel network in Gaza with an elite commando group called the Yahalom unit. This specialized unit of the IDF Combat Engineering Corps is trained in underground warfare and handles tasks such as tunnel warfare, explosive ordinance disposal, and countering unconventional weapons. Formed in 1995 and expanded after the 2014 Gaza War, the Yahalom unit’s mission is critical to Israel’s defense strategy against Hamas’ subterranean tactics.
- The Yahalom unit is an elite force within the IDF, specializing in tunnel warfare and various engineering operations to combat threats like those from Hamas’ tunnels.
- The training for the Yahalom unit is extensive, involving a rigorous selection process and 16 months of comprehensive training in a variety of military disciplines, including Krav Maga and explosives.
- Recent operations by Yahalom have targeted tunnel networks used by Hamas, with the IDF employing a range of technologies to detect and neutralize these tunnels.
- Hamas’ tunnels are strategically used for storing weapons, moving militants, and launching attacks, posing a significant challenge for Israeli intelligence and military operations.
- The complexity of the tunnel network requires careful IDF operations, especially considering the potential presence of hostages, demanding precision in Yahalom’s engagements to minimize collateral damage.