Israel Defense Forces (IDF) use dogs to help search-and-destroy Hamas tunnels

One of the great difficulties for Binjamin Netanyahu’s ground offensive in Gaza using the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) is to overcome the approximate 300 miles of sophisticated tunnels underneath Gaza, sometimes underneath hospitals. The tunnels have been built with concrete arches and side panels costing about $3 million for each tunnel, allegedly funded through charitable donations to feed Gazans but stolen by Hamas to build tunnels instead.

IDF war dogs from the Obetz canine sub-unit
IDF war dogs from the Obetz canine sub-unit. Image: Screenshot from video below.

There are even meeting rooms incorporated into the tunnel network, the deepest of which is over 200 feet underground.

The IDF is currently beginning the ground offensive in Gaza and Netanyahu and his generals believe that this will be a long and drawn-out war. International commentors and some politicians believe that it might lead to a Middle East conflagration as it might spread outwards to bring in Hezbollah, Iran and other factions.

Netanyahu is taking a huge risk and he thinks that by destroying Gazan infrastructure of all kinds together with the homes of many innocent Gazans, he can destroy the minds of the Hamas terrorist. He can’t. You cannot change the mindset and attitude of these terrorists by destroying infrastructure.

In fact, in destroying swathes of Gaza he is simply going to embolden and strengthen the attitude of Hamas fighters. He will make things worse in my view. But that is a discussion for others to engage in.

In this short post, I want to talk about the animals in this war, not only those that have been mercilessly bombed to death and injured in Gaza, which would include people’s pet cats and dogs, but also Israeli’s war dogs from the Obetz, military sub unit (‘Sting’). And we can’t forget the Kibbutz dogs murdered by Hamas terrorists.

IDF have advanced tunnel warfare strategies which includes using dogs. The Obetz sub-unit includes dog handlers whose charges are able to sniff out entrances.

The dogs go ahead of soldiers and attack incoming threats. They might jump at the attacker and bite their arms so that they can’t shoot.

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The video on this page presents them to the world. I can’t guarantee that this video will remain on this webpage forever because sometimes they are deleted by the creator of the video or by YouTube for a variety of reasons. So, this video might not work in due course. If that’s happened, I apologise.

Other methods of dealing with these tunnels would be using sponge bombs. These are not true bombs but a mixture of two chemicals which when join together create masses of hard foam which help to block up the tunnel.

In the past, in previous encounters between Hamas and Israeli forces, the IDF have failed to effectively tackle these tunnels. They have been trying to destroy them for a decade with limited success reports The Sunday Times today.

Obviously, sending in a dog ahead when approaching a tunnel puts the dog in great danger of injury or death. I think we need to say that and recognise it. It does raise a moral issue as well. These dogs do their work without consent. Common sense dictates that you won’t obtain the consent of a dog to fight for Israel but it’s a point worth making. They risk their lives without realising it. For them it’s a big game. Do humans have a right to put dogs through that risk?

Video on the Obetz unit:

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Post Category: Dogs > dog behaviour