Gas deployed by the Israeli army gushes out of a hole in a tunnel which was used by Hamas terrorists.
Deep in the bowels of Tel Aviv's underground, engineers and scientists recently conducted trials of a new hi-tech detection system that aims to eradicate the threat posed by Hamas's underground tunnels.
As international pressure mounts to end the current round of fighting between Israel and Hamas, and the operation in Gaza continues to claim more and more lives, the IDF is racing against time in order to discover as many tunnels as possible.
But once the IDF withdraws from Gaza, there are currently no mechanisms in place to prevent Hamas and others from digging new tunnels into Israel. In a bid to find a solution, the IDF's elite Talpiot unit has been working on developing a tunnel detection system which was tested in Tel Aviv. Its costs are estimated to be $59 million.
"The high-tech system, which uses special sensors and transmitters, is still in its R&D phase, and if all goes well, should be operational within a year", notes a report on Israel's I-24 news.
The most common type of technology for tracking down tunnels is focused on listening for sounds of digging, notes Inbal Orpaz in the Israeli daily Haaretz.
Another Israeli company, Magna, already provides defence systems for the Israel-Egypt border, as well as for the nuclear reactor sites in Japan. It proposes digging a 70-km tunnel along the Israel-Gaza border, equipped with a sensitive alert system.
This "will provide real-time alerts of any tunnel digging that crosses our tunnel, whether above or below it. The IDF will know exactly where the attack tunnel is and how many people are in it, and can monitor the progress of digging it in real time, and decide how to respond to the threat," the company's founder and CEO Haim Siboni told Israel's Globes publication.
While hi-tech solutions are being tested and debated, many in Israel bemoan the fact that such a large number of tunnels dug from Gaza into Israeli territory have gone undetected for so long.
"For 10 years I've been crying and screaming to the highest possible levels - to the Defense Ministry, the chief of staff, the commanding officers of southern and northern command," Dr Joseph Langotsky, an Israeli geologist who has long advocated greater attention to the issue of the tunnels, said in an interview with the Jerusalem Post.
"Although the tunnels are a low-tech option, they might be a strategic threat to our security," said Dr Langotsky.