Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Armed Services approves US-Israeli 'anti-tunneling' effort | TheHill

Armed Services approves US-Israeli 'anti-tunneling' effort | TheHill: The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday approved an amendment to the annual defense policy bill that allows the U.S and Israel to develop an “anti-tunneling system” to protect against terrorist attacks.

The provision — offered by Reps. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) and Gwen Graham (D-Fla.) — was tacked on the Emerging Threats and Capabilities subpanel portion of the fiscal 2016 national defense authorization act (NDAA).

Speaking in defense of the amendment, Lamborn said tunneling was a “huge issue” in Israel and that around 30 secret passageways were found between Israel and the Gaza Strip after last summer’s conflict.
He noted there is similar problem along the U.S. southern border, where tunnels are used for “smuggling and other purposes.”

Lamborn said that other countries, besides the U.S. and Israel, could join the effort.

Graham drew a parallel between the initiative and the Iron Dome missile defense system that has helped prevent rocket attacks.

The bipartisan amendment, which came with no price tag, was approved by voice vote.