Itongadol.- The Israeli army on Wednesday notified Kibbutz Nirim in the northwest Negev that it will check for underground tunnels in the area, following geological surveys carried out in the kibbutz by a private company.
Some two months ago a number of kibbutz members contracted Geotech, a company specializing in airborne geophysical survey mapping, to check for underground digging in the area. The kibbutz members had been complaining since the war in Gaza in the summer that they were hearing noises of digging underground.
“The army’s announcement didn’t surprise anyone,” said Adi Hamawi, of Nirim. “We shouted before and after the war in Gaza that there was digging but they didn’t take us seriously.”
“In some parts of the kibbutz you can hear sounds of digging and knocking at night. More and more people are hearing the sounds, so we called in the company,” he said.
On the basis of Geotech’s findings the Israel Defense Forces said it would check the area, as it has done in various places along the Gaza border in the past months. The residents will be notified of the findings, the IDF said.
But Hamawi remained skeptical. “I don’t trust them to tell us if they find a tunnel. They may keep it quiet to avoid causing a panic…The day people find out there’s a tunnel, I don’t know how many will stay,” he said.