A Kabbalist rabbi located Palestinian attack tunnels, which were subsequently destroyed during the 2014 Israel-Gaza War, known as Operation Protective Edge, before the IDF identified them, Zman Yisrael reported.
According to the reports, back in 2015, senior IDF officials received a report from Colonel E., the Home Front Command's Northern Commander, titled "Report on Joint Activities on the Issue of Locating Underground Mediums", that focused on two rabbis, Kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda and his aide Rabbi Moshe.
"In this region there is a huge underground water reservoir, which cannot be detected unless it was pointed out specifically. The rabbi located, without us saying a word, the underground site and the empty space under the region. When we continued touring, he located another two underground spaces, and was able to describe criminal activity carried out by armed [people] which had occurred near the site over three years prior", the colonel reportedly penned.
The media outlet also spoke to the two rabbis and to several IDF soldiers, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of concerns that they would be considered "too mystically-oriented".
"If the army were more open, people's lives would be saved. We know of dozens more tunnels along the border, both in the north and south. If the army weren't so suspicious of everything which smells of religion, then the major-generals and lieutenant colonels we spoke to would have given us a chance to help. It's a shame, because 'one who saves a single Jewish life is considered to have saved an entire world'", Rabbi Moshe said.
"I told him that in the worst case scenario, it would make the residents feel better. This way, at least, we can tell them that we are doing everything possible to investigate their complaints and they'll calm down. They rode in an army vehicle along the western area…and they came back with amazing results. I remember that the engineering officer was shocked", he said, adding that, nonetheless, his commander and other soldiers were unimpressed.
Rabbi Yahuda is said to have identified 31 tunnels and pinpointed the exits from several of them in January 2014; the IDF located 32 tunnels only several months later.
Zman Yisrael reached the IDF for comment, but the spokesperson's office refused to answer questions about the rabbis' alleged role.
“The IDF is keeping track of the tunnel threat in the north and the south alike, and has worked to locate the tunnels using technological, engineering, and intelligence means only. The IDF never relied at any stage upon citizens with any sort of abilities in order to locate attack tunnels. Rather, it used advanced technological and intelligence means only", the statement said.
In December 2018, the IDF kicked off Operation Northern Shield to locate and neutralise Hezbollah cross-border tunnels. A month later, the Israeli military reported that six tunnels had been destroyed, and declared the operation a success.