NewsIsrael considers sea water in fight against Hamas tunnels

Israel considers sea water in fight against Hamas tunnels

Hamas Tunnels in Gaza
Hamas Tunnels in Gaza
Images source: © Getty Images
ed. MCZ

1:06 PM EST, December 5, 2023

The Wall Street Journal reports that an unconventional method of fighting Hamas is under consideration by Israel, potentially flooding the tunnel system underneath the Gaza Strip with seawater from the Mediterranean.

Information obtained by the newspaper reveals that last month, five high-powered water pumps were installed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) near the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza. These machines are capable of supplying the underground tunnel network with thousands of cubic meters of seawater per hour, which could lead to the entire system being flooded within weeks.

The Wall Street Journal cites American officials stating that Israel had informed the US about this plan last month. But there has been no final decision yet regarding its execution.

The reaction within President Joe Biden's administration to this idea has been mixed. While some officials expressed concern about the Israeli plan, others fully supported any effort Israel might make to destroy the tunnels.

Potential Risks and Adverse Effects

One potential issue that could emerge from the plan's implementation is the risk of damaging the aquifer and soil in the Gaza Strip. Seawater and any hazardous materials possibly present in the tunnels could infiltrate these areas, leading to multiple adverse effects.

An individual familiar with the plan, quoted by The Wall Street Journal, expressed doubt about the plan's effectiveness. They said, "We're unsure about how effective the flooding will be as the details of the tunnels and surrounding terrain are unknown. It's impossible to predict the effectiveness of the idea as we do not have information on how the seawater will behave within the tunnels, places no one has ever been before."

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