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September 5, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 5' 2014 PAGE 15A seismic VI .S Ben Sales An updated version of this system aimed at locating people trapped in the rubble of downed buildings could help Israel detect subterranean tunnels from Gaza. By Ben Sales OR YEHUDA, Israel (JTA) -- Something that looks like a can of soda could be Israel's high-tech answer to the net- work of tunnels that Hamas has created under the Gaza border. A sensor known as a geo- phone can detect under- ground movement based on the sound generated by the movement, the Israeli defense firm manufacturing the device says. The firm, Elpam Electronics, says the geophone is capable of find- ing the location of a person crawling as far down as 32 feet. Israel has grappledwith the danger of the Gaza tunnels for years, but the threat has gained greater urgency in the wake of Protective Edge, the military operation launched last month. A ground inva- sion of Gaza that started five weeks ago had the stated aim of neutralizing the tunnels, 32 of which were subsequently destroyed, according to the Israeli military. Now the mission is con- tinuing in the research labs of Israeli defense firms. Both Rafael Advanced Defense Sys- tems and, according to several Israeli reports, Elbit Systems are at work on systems to detect tunnels. Neither com- pany Would comment on [heir research. But Elpam agreed to pro- vide JTA with a look at the technology it's been working on for decades and is now adapting to address the cur- rent threat. Iky Koenig, Elpam's CEO, wants Israel to bury hundreds of sensors in a constellation around the Gaza border. By next year the company hopes to have developed a monitoring system that can locate tunnel activity and differentiate it from other subterranean noise. "Let's say there's a suspi- cion of activity from military intelligence or [the sound of] spoons digging," Koenig said. "You put these things in the ground and if someone hears spoons, we'll hear it like a bulldozer." In 1988, Elpam created its sensors to assist in search- and-rescue operations. The sensors were designed to de- tect sound frequencies in the ruins of destroyed buildings. Rescuers could hear people trapped under the debris and the trapped could respond. Dozens of the kits, which can fit inside a lightweight vest, were sold to the Israel Defense Forces. Elpam also developed and sold two tunnel detection systems to the IDF in 2005 and 2006. One was intend- ed to detect tunnels along the Philadelphi Corridor on the Egypt-Gaza border, but the company could not say whether the system was ever deployed. In a statement to JTA last week the IDF said it had con- sidered two tunnel detection systems in 2005 and 2006 that were not effective. The IDF said it is rrow combining Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90 Palestinians viewing what used to be a tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel in the Rafah area of southern Gaza, Aug. 5, 2014. those systems and readying them for field testing. The military expects de- ployment of the system to take one year and cost between $424 million and $565 mil- lion. The IDF would not con- firm whether those systems were developed by Elpam. The sensor concept is not without its critics. Yiftah Shapir, a military technology expert at Tel Aviv University's Institute for Na- tional Security Studies, said rows of sensors cannot detect tunnels that turn or inter- sections between multiple tunnels. Shapir also said the sensors do not have the abil- ity to detect tunnel openings, which was among the key goals of the ground invasion. "You think a tunnel starts in one place and ends in another," he said. "There are three or four entrances. In the middle there are junctions. It's never just in one place. [The IDF] went in essentially to look at where the other openings are." Atai Shelach, CEO of the defense firm Engineering Solutions Group, said the sensors will also have trouble pinpointing tunnels that are only a few feet wide. At best, he said, the technology will merely complement the mili- tary's intelligence operations, not replace them. "If [tJne sensor] will be ef- fective at one point for a very great depth, it only solves a small part of the problem," said Shelach, a former com- mander in the IDF Engineer- ing Corps. "If it only finds one tunnel, that doesn't mean that there aren't other tunnels. Until there's a broad solution, there Won't be a choice but to rely on intelligence." By Hillel Kuttler BALTIMORE (JTA)- Block- ing brothers, a college star seeking success in the pros, a fullback who hasn't had a carry in four seasons and a couple of ace special teamers are among the Jewish players on NFL rosters as the league kicks off this week. Apunter may join the group after sitting out the preseason because of a personal issue. Also, Marc Trestman is back for his second season as coach of the Chicago Bears after moving to the NFL following a stellar career on the sidelines in the Canadian Football League. The Bears finished 8-8 in his rookie campaign. The National Football League season opens Thurs- day - not on Rosh Hashanah, like a year ago. While the crop of Jewish players may not be stellar, Ephraim Moxson, a co-editor of Jewish Sports Review, sees hope - if not now, then five years off. That could be when the NFLwelcomes Josh Rosen, a top high school quarterback who already is committed to attend UCLA, which this year is expected to be a top five team. "It's cyclical," Moxson said. "We have some pretty good athletes in Division I." The 2014 NFL cohort in- cludes: Geoff Schwartz, New York Giants, offensive line- man, sixth season. Accom- New Orleans Saints Erik Lorig, in his fifth NFL season, has moved to the New Orleans Saints after playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. plished at guard and tackle, Schwartz was signed as a free agent by the Giants to a reported four-year, $16.8 million deal, with $6.2 million guaranteed - a key provision in NFL contracts, whose salaries are generally not guaranteed. Schwartz was brought in to shore up a weak Giants line, but in- jured a toe in the preseason and may be shelved for half the campaign. Pro Football Focus, an analytics website, praised Schwartz especially f6r his run blocking. Mitchell Schwartz, Cleve- land Browns, offensive line- man, third season. Mitch- ell Schwartz, the younger brother of Geoff,. is a solid player up front for an offense that NFL observers expect to struggle without its most explosive player, wide receiver Josh Gordon, due to ayearlong suspension, and possibly eventually featuring a rookie quarterback, the former Heis- man Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Nate Ebner, New England Patriots, defensive back, third season. His position is listed as safety, but Ebner plays al- most strictly on spec!al teams, where he excelled as an Ohio State University walk-on. As a Patriots special teamer, Ebner has performed well, recovering two fumbles last season to go with three tack- les. He had been a standout in another contact sport, rugby. His high school rugby coach was his father, Jeff, who was beaten to death in 2008 during a robbery. Gabe Carimi, Atlanta Fal- cons, offensive lineman, fourth season. The 2010 Out- land Trophy winner as college football's best interior line- man, Carimi was the Bears' first-round draft but is on his third team in four years fol- lowing his release from Tampa Bay after just one season there. With the Falcons boast- ing a top-flight quarterback and perhaps the NFL's best corps of wide receivers, Carimi will be counted on to return to the form he showed at the University of Wisconsin. Taylor Mays, Cincinnati Bengals, safety, fifth season. In 50 games with the San Francisco 49ers and the Bengals, including 10 starts, Mays has no interceptions and just six passes defended. But he plays regularly on special teams and last year showed versatility on defense, filling in at linebacker because of injuries. His own shoulder injury ended Mays' 2013 season in October. Mays, an African-American who was raised in his mother's Jewish religion, was a three-time all- America at the University of Southern California. The fam- ily boasts additional football talent: Mays' brother, Parker, (JTA)--Most of the art- ists participating in a major Brazilian art event protested funding for the show from the Israeli gov- ernment. Sixty-one of nearly 70 artists in the 31st Sao Paulo Biennial have signed an open letter calling on the event's board to return the funds from Israel due to its recent Gaza operation. Three Israeli artists are participating in the bien- nial, which led to funding from the Israeli consul- ate. The logo of the Israeli is a redshirt freshman wide receiver for the University of San Diego. Adam Podlesh, Pittsburgh Steelers, punter, eighth sea- son. A Bears teammate of Carimi for two years, Podlesh is a newcomer in Pittsburgh - if he winds up on the roster. While he is the Steelers' only punter with NFL experience, Podlesh did not report to the team, instead staying with his wife during a reportedly difficult pregnancy. The for- mer University of Maryland punter has a career average of 42.4 yards, with his longest kick going for 76 yards as a consulate in Sao Pauio is featured on the event's pub- licity materials alongside other supporters, including the City of Amsterdam and the Danish Arts Foundation. "At a time in which the people of Gaza return to the rubble of their homes, destroyed by the Israeli military, we do not feel it is acceptable to receive Israeli cultural sponsorship," the letter reads. "In accepting this funding, our artistic work displayed in the ex- hibition is undermined and implicitly used for white- rookie with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Erik Lorig, New Orleans Saints, fullback, fifth season. A starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 24 of his 56 NFL games, Lorig has yet to carry the ball. With the Saints he'll remain strictly a blocking back- and is "tremendous" at it, in Moxson's assessment. In the past two seasons, the Stanford alumnus- he played defensive end in college - has caught 23 passes, including one for a touchdown. That score makes him unique among the current Jewish players. washing Israel's ongoing aggressions and violation of international law and human rights. We reject Israel's attempt to normal- ize itself within the context of a major international cultural event "in Brazil." Ramailah-based Pales- tinian artist Ruanne Abou- Rahme signed the le{ter, The biennial opens Sat- urday and runs through Dec. 7. Brazil recalled its am- bassador from Tel Aviv in July following the start of Operation Protective Edge.