Israel reportedly already built a system to flood it tunnel warrior Hamas under the Gaza Strip. Israel’s military Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, appeared to confirm the report and called it a good idea.
“We see a lot of underground infrastructure in Gaza, we know there will be a lot of underground infrastructure. One of the goals is to destroy this infrastructure,” Halevi said of the report in The Wall Street Journal.
“We have various ways (to deal with tunnels), I won’t go into specifics. But they include explosives for destruction and other ways to prevent Hamas operatives from using the tunnels to harm our soldiers,” he said.
According to him, all methods that provide benefits for his party are being evaluated for use. “It’s a good idea, but I won’t comment on specifics,” Halevi added. Even though the plan has been criticized by several parties.
Citing United States officials, WSJ reported that the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) last month set up five large water pumps near the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City. The system is reportedly capable of flooding the tunnel within weeks by pumping thousands of cubic meters of water per hour into it.
That would be a significant step and would involve huge risks, although it might be successful. “Yes, it can be done, and yes, it will work,” said British military analyst, Professor Michael Clarke, as quoted by detikINET from Sky News.
The Hamas tunnels are hundreds of kilometers in total and lie approximately 30 meters below the surface, making them difficult to map. Israeli technology is not of much use either.
It is unclear whether Israel is considering using the pump before all the hostages are freed. Hamas previously said it was hiding captives in ‘safe places and tunnels’.
This is one of two major risks that Israel would face if they decided to flood the tunnel. “They don’t know whether there are hostages being held there or not,” he said.
Another risk is that by flooding the tunnels, the Israeli military could pollute the aquifers that help Gaza’s water supply. “That would be a piece of environmental vandalism for which the world will not thank Israel,” he added.
Environmental experts have said that flooding the tunnels could cause further havoc for Gazans who are already suffering from Israeli atrocities. Prof. (Emer.) Eilon Adar of the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, said flooding the tunnels could potentially cause further ecological damage to Gaza’s groundwater supply.
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