The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has confirmed that it has been flooding tunnels in Gaza with large volumes of water in its effort to attack the terrorist infrastructure of Hamas.
The IDF says its forces along with the Israeli Ministry of Defense have been using various tools to flood the subterranean network of tunnels, which Hamas has been using in the Gaza Strip, in order to drive out terrorists hiding there. The flooding had been considered an open secret for weeks but the IDF finally confirmed the strategy on Tuesday.
“These capabilities consist of installing pumps and pipes, the materialization of engineering developments and the ability to locate tunnel shafts suitable for the deployment of these tools,” the IDF said in a statement.
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“The capability was developed in a professional capacity, including analysis of the soil characteristics and the water systems in the area to ensure that damage is not done to the area’s groundwater. The pumping of water was only carried out in tunnel routes and locations that were suitable, matching the method of operation to each case.”
The IDF said this strategy represents a significant engineering and technological breakthrough in combating the threat of Hamas’ underground terror infrastructure and is the result of a collaborative effort between various bodies in Israel’s security establishment.
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The IDF did not go into further detail about the flooding of the tunnels.
However, the Wall Street Journal reported last month that Israel had constructed five large seawater pumps completed in November about one mile north of the Al-Shati refugee camp. Each pump is capable of drawing water from the Mediterranean Sea and can move thousands of cubic meters of water per hour, which would flood the tunnels within weeks, the report said.
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According to that report, Israel had identified about 800 tunnels beneath Gaza that Hamas had been using to move fighters, store weapons and plan terror attacks on Israel. However, Israeli officials believe the tunnel network is much larger.
A report sent by IDF troops this month said it was likely Hamas “used more than 6,000 tons of concrete and 1,800 tons of metal to build hundreds of miles of underground infrastructure.”
It is unclear how many tunnels have been flooded by Israeli forces and how many Hamas terrorists have been caught or killed as part of the operations.
Israel is seeking to eradicate the Palestinian terror group after it took some 240 people captive during the Oct. 7 attack on Israel and brought them back to the Gaza Strip. Hamas released 105 hostages in a November truce.
Israel says about 1,200 people were killed in the Oct. 7 surprise attack. A U.N. report last week estimated about 16,000 people had been killed as a result of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.
The IDF said the flooding of tunnels forms part of a range of tools deployed by the IDF to neutralize the Hamas threat.
Other efforts include air strikes, underground combat operations and special operations with technological assets, the IDF said.
The Israeli military blew up a tunnel underneath a cemetery in Gaza after discovering that Hamas terrorists were using the tunnel for its activities, the IDF said Monday.
Fox News’ Chris Pandolfino contributed to this report.
Original article source: Israel flooding tunnels in Gaza to drive out Hamas terrorists: IDF