These reservists are ready to save lives under any conditions. They study Hamas’s terror tunnels and evaluate the quickest and safest ways to rescue soldiers in case of a collapse.
Hamas tunnels: a threat above and below ground
Hamas has been vocal about their continued construction of terror tunnels – and their intention to use them to attack and kidnap Israeli soldiers and civilians alike. These tunnels are built from inside Gazan homes and cities, and can reach into Israeli territory, threatening tens of thousands of lives.
But our soldiers have been preparing for this worst-case scenario. The reservists of the Search and Rescue Unit are used to working mainly in civilian areas. With the Israel-Hamas conflict moving underground, their expertise is needed on a new front.
Rigged with explosives, any wrong move can cause these tunnels to collapse and crush those trapped within them. It’s already happened multiple times to the Hamas members constructing them.
With our forces entering these tunnels to track down terrorists and rescue fellow soldiers, this is a reality that we need to prepare for. The Search and Rescue Brigade trains to enter these collapsed tunnel, secure them, and save soldiers trapped inside.
One of the main hazards these reservists face in the narrow tunnel spaces is low oxygen levels. The unit can descend to as low as 65 feet (20 meters) below ground. The deeper they go, the more these reservists are exposed to health issues like coughing, raised heart rate, and confusion, making it more difficult to work.
The ultimate threat, though, is the location. Operating within enemy territory is something the Home Front Command isn’t used to. “In this new setting, we’ll be entering alarming and dangerous areas” Says Cpt. Itamar, company commander in the Reservists Search and Rescue Unit. “We’ll have to face challenges that we haven’t encountered before on the home front.”