The Wall Street Journal has disclosed that the Israeli military force is allegedly pumping large amounts of water into the tunnels in Gaza which were constructed by Hamas.
The Israel Defense Forces has begun flooding Hamas’ extensive network of underground tunnels beneath the Gaza Strip, according to a Wall Street Journal report published on Tuesday.
This report, citing “US officials briefed on the Israeli military’s operations,” states that the IDF had contemplated this plan for over a month and has recently started to flood the tunnels.
The US officials cited in the report reveal that last month, the IDF installed five large water pumps near the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, each capable of pumping thousands of cubic meters of seawater per hour, and recently added two additional pumps.
At a press conference last week, IDF Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi, when asked about the flooding strategy, neither confirmed nor denied its consideration but referred to it as a “good idea.”
Halevi clarified that the IDF’s objective is to neutralize Hamas’ capacity for warfare against Israel, necessitating the destruction of its military infrastructure, including the tunnels.
“We have various ways [to deal with the tunnels], I won’t talk about specifics, but they include explosives to destroy, and other means to prevent Hamas operatives from using the tunnels to harm our soldiers,” he said, adding that the IDF is “evaluating all possible means, including tunnel flooding.”
The White House officials quoted in the Wall Street Journal report said that some in the Biden Administration are in favor of the process as it could allow Israel to disrupt Hamas’ ability to use the tunnels to hide hostages, weapons, and fighters while others familiar with the plan are concerned that the seawater would contaminate the freshwater supply of Gaza’s civilian population.
As of Tuesday evening, the IDF has neither confirmed nor denied these reports. This is a developing story.