Do Israelis have a plan for destroying underground tunnels? – Here’s what it’s about

Israel has developed a large system of pumps that could be used to flood tunnels beneath the Gaza Strip, used by the militant group Hamas, with the aim of forcing fighters out of them, reported the Wall Street Journal yesterday, citing U.S. officials.

The Israeli military has completed the installation of at least five pumps about a kilometer and a half from the Al-Shati refugee camp, which could inject thousands of cubic meters of water per hour into the tunnels and submerge them in just a few weeks, according to the report.

The report did not make it clear whether Israel intends to use the pumps before all hostages are released. Hamas had previously stated that it has captives hidden in “safe places and in tunnels.” Reuters could not confirm the details of yesterday’s report.

A U.S. official commented on the report, stating that it makes sense for Israel to disable the tunnels, and that the country is considering various ways to achieve that. The Israeli Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

The Wall Street Journal reported that an official from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) refused to comment on the flooding plan but provided the following quote: “The IDF is working to prevent Hamas terror in various ways, using a variety of military and technological tools.”

Israel informed the U.S. about this possibility for the first time last month, according to the Wall Street Journal, stating that officials at that time were unaware of how close Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government was to executing this plan.

Israeli officials have not made a final decision on whether to proceed with the plan or discard it, according to the Wall Street Journal’s citation.

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