Israel Admits Of Flooding Hamas Tunnels Under Gaza

World | January 31, 2024, Wednesday // 12:01
Bulgaria: Israel Admits Of Flooding Hamas Tunnels Under Gaza

The Israeli army has publicly acknowledged the initiation of a groundbreaking strategy to counter the threat posed by Hamas through the flooding of the vast network of tunnels beneath Gaza. These tunnels have been a crucial infrastructure for Hamas, utilized for attacks, weapons storage, and even holding Israeli hostages. The military has adopted innovative techniques, including pumping substantial amounts of water into the tunnels, marking the first time such a tactic has been confirmed to neutralize underground terrorist infrastructure.

This marks the first time the military has publicly confirmed the use of flooding as a tactic to counter the threat posed by the extensive tunnel network. The tunnels, known for their intricate and expansive nature, have posed a substantial threat, prompting the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to take unconventional measures.

Even before the conflict escalated in October, the IDF had highlighted the danger posed by these tunnels. Subsequent ground offensives revealed the surprising depth, length, and quality of the underground network. Some sections were found large enough to accommodate trucks, and underground rooms were discovered where hostages were allegedly being held.

The scale of the underground network is staggering, with estimates ranging between 482 and 724 kilometers, showcasing the extent of the challenge faced by the Israeli military. Nearly 5,700 separate shafts leading to the tunnels have been identified, according to senior Israeli defense officials familiar with intelligence matters.

The decision to flood the tunnels has not been without controversy. The United Nations has previously warned that such a strategy could have severe repercussions, potentially damaging Gaza's drinking water and sanitation infrastructure. In December, there were reports that the military had started experimenting with flooding some tunnels in northern Gaza, prompting concerns about the fragile water supply in the region.

The IDF, in its recent statement, emphasized a careful approach, stating that the choice of tunnels was made after a thorough analysis of the soil and water systems to prevent damage to the groundwater in the area. Operation Flood, codenamed Atlantis, aims not to drown Hamas fighters within the tunnels but to compel them to emerge.

However, challenges have emerged during the operation, with reports indicating that many tunnel walls are permeable, leading water to seep into the surrounding soil rather than effectively flooding the passages. Despite these challenges, the IDF remains committed to minimizing environmental impact.

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Tags: Israeli, tunnels, Hamas, Gaza

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