Israel’s foes long ago realized a weakness in the country’s defense, beneath the ground, in the realm of darkness and quiet. Digging tunnels to secretly transport people and supplies, as well as to achieve penetration into hostile territory is not a new concept: It’s based on Asian fighting techniques, perfected by the Koreans, Vietnamese, and Chinese, and put to good use by Taliban fighters and Mexican drug organizations.

In the recent conflict in Gaza, the Israeli government has been struck by the complexity of Hamas tunnels and intel reports of the technology and engineering used in their construction. Forget the imagery of that poor guy digging his way out of prison with a spoon; these tunnels were created by organized, well-educated crews who know how to conceal their work from the eye in the sky.

I’ve been following closely the increasing number of reports from Gaza regarding these tunnels, and the way they’re discovered and destroyed. A few weeks ago (27.01.16) in Tuffah, Gaza, an unconfirmed report suggested that Hamas had lost contact with seven of its operatives. Hamas quickly announced the weather as the cause, and refused to release more information. Another operative was killed a few days ago, and rumors regarding more exposed tunnels—and crews—are a hot topic in the Palestinian streets.

This intel is quite interesting for a few reasons: