Soldiers from Yahalom during the discovery of a tunnel
Soldiers from Yahalom during the discovery of a tunnelIDF Spokesperson

Channel 11 News gained access into one of the IDF's most specialized and sensitive units; Yahalom (Diamond). Yahalom is a Hebrew acronym that translates as Engineering Corp; Special Forces. The unit has a number of different abilities and skills but they are more and more in the limelight due to one specific tactical ability; to be able to locate and neutralize tunnels.

Channel 11 News accompanied Yahalom into a tunnel, dug from Gaza into Israel, demonstrating the impressive ability of the unit and the amounts of effort and raw materials that were put into building this tunnel by Gazans.

Lt. Colonel 'M,' a commander in the unit, explained that this tunnel was dug by Hamas for one purpose; to attack the Israeli towns close to the border.

The tunnel sits tens of meters underground and is a kilometer and half in length. More worryingly, this is the 18th that Yahalom has neutralized.

'N,' a soldier in Yahalom, spoke about how he thinks about what will happen if the tunnels are not discovered and destroyed in time; "Gilad Shalit was kidnapped through a tunnel."

The tunnel threat and thus Yahalom came to limelight during the 2014 Gaza War (Operation Protective Edge) where countless tunnels were discovered and destroyed, and since then the unit has improved its techniques and learned from the lessons and experience of that conflict.

The unit received even greater plaudits and publicity since last winter's operation; Northern Shield. The IDF, with Yahalom leading, discovered and destroyed 6 tunnels along Israel's northern border with Lebanon, the most sophisticated of which had a railway system and a garbage disposal system.

Lt. Colonel 'M.' explained how the soldiers of the unit trained for almost a year, without knowing to what end and then during the Hanukkah festival, the Yahalom teams attacked and took control of all the tunnels along the border. Yahalom was awarded for their work during the 3 months of operation and since then the unit has become the first place of choice for many young men joining the IDF.

Lt. Colonel 'M.' added that the IDF's and the Yahalom's status quo is that there are always more tunnels, "and I will continue to look for them."

Click here to watch the Hebrew report: