MAY 19, 2024 JLM 84°F 02:36 PM 07:36 AM EST
Will IDF flood Hamas tunnels?

IDF reportedly considering flooding Hamas’ vast tunnel network.

One of the options the IDF is considering in order to strike a decisive blow against Hamas is to flood its vast tunnel networks with sea water, columnist David Ignatius wrote in The Washington Post Sunday after interviewing numerous military sources.

The Gaza Strip, the veteran journalist pointed out, is conveniently located on the Mediterranean Sea. The IDF must be thinking, he wrote, if there’s a real need to risk soldiers’ lives by sending them into narrow and booby-trapped corridors.

“Water is a powerful force of nature — even more so when it is amplified by pumps. One thing about tunnels is that they’re vulnerable to flooding, even if they have elaborate drainage,” as Ignatius wrote.

He made clear that no Israeli officials told him anything about possible plans, but that Defense Minister Yoav Gallant had made the “cryptic” comment that “You need an industrial solution.”

Bombing hundreds of miles of underground passages may not be a particularly efficient method of killing terrorists, Ignatius noted.

Previous experience backs him up. When the IAF destroyed miles of the so-called Gaza City “metro” in a massive single attack during 2021’s Operation Guardian of the Walls, the pilots dropped some 450 missiles on 150 targets but the number of enemy combatants who died was in the dozens.

The hope had been that Hamas fighters would fall for a rumor of an Israeli ground incursion, and so flee en masse into the tunnels for protection. Of course, today the IDF is fully engaged on the ground in the Strip, and the tunnels really are the safest place for the combatants to be, especially as many are highly fortified.

Still, aerial bombardment is also likely to cause many civilian deaths, another point the journalist made.

This truth can also not be denied, especially considering that Hamas deliberately situated its military tunnels beneath private homes, mosques, schools and hospitals that can collapse – as many houses did in 2021 – when the tunnels explode from all the munitions stored inside them.

Israel is already being accused of “genocide” as Hamas has claimed, albeit without showing evidence, that over 12,000 civilians have been killed by Israeli forces, mostly in airstrikes. Ignatius wrote that the Jewish state doesn’t need more image problems than it already has as the world is flooded with scenes of Gazan suffering.

This also increases international pressure for a ceasefire, which would leave Hamas still intact – something that no one in Israel will accept.

Ignatius wrote that now that Israel controls the northern part of Gaza, the next natural step to eradicating Hamas is to move south. But this part of the Strip is more crowded than ever, because the IDF told the Gazans to flee there from the north so it could minimize civilian casualties during its first stage of ground fighting – although many in the world did not accept this as a humanitarian move.

Israel knows it must continually show the global community that it cares about minimizing collateral damage in its fight against terrorism, in order not to lose “the information war,” Ignatius wrote. His military sources told him that plans are being made to build a huge tent city for refugees on the coast, just above the Egyptian border. This would ease the way to deliver humanitarian aid by both sea and land, through the Rafah crossing.

“After the intense international criticism for the hospital battles in northern Gaza, Israeli commanders want to quickly create temporary medical facilities for thousands of wounded civilians threatened now with starvation and infectious disease,” he added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu already used the “danger of epidemics” to both Gazans and Israeli soldiers, to explain why the war cabinet unanimously decided at the end of last week to allow fuel into Gaza to enable the operation of its sewage and water plants.

The decision was opposed by right-wing coalition members, who said that one doesn’t supply an enemy in wartime, and Hamas could simply grab it for themselves. As Netanyahu himself has pointed out, Hamas needs fuel for its rocket launchers and tunnels’ air filtration systems, among other military uses.

Image - Reuters

Did you find this article interesting?
Christopher Polly 14:48 23.11.2023
I'd say pump them full of CS gas. That'll force the rats out. Then clear them with drones and see if they find any hostages. Then flood them!!!
Kamal Saud 14:44 23.11.2023
Good idea!
[Anonymous] 14:20 23.11.2023
Flood the tunnels with water and petroleum and ignite a fire from time to time.
Elena Caddell 01:13 21.11.2023
[Anonymous] 01:03 21.11.2023
I don’t care how IDF does it; rescue all hostages and kill every last terrorist. I recommend IDF boobytrap the tunnel system and allow any Hamas terrorist to sneak back into the death trap.
[Anonymous] 21:19 20.11.2023
If God wants the tunnels flooded He will flood them. Not the IDF. We have hostages in those tunnels!
[Anonymous] 21:13 20.11.2023
Do not announce what you are going to do…. .do it!!
Harry Bojman 21:10 20.11.2023
Sea water plus some sharks would do the job.
Hiram Moran 20:31 20.11.2023
Do it so the rats will have to scurry to the top
Kingsley Gorman 20:25 20.11.2023
Bring the sea to these tunnel rats!
Lamko Cecile 20:23 20.11.2023
Lamko Cecile 20:22 20.11.2023
This is the option! We don't want another loss of our precious soldiers! Since hamas doesn't to surrender and continuing killing IDf
Emmanuel Robert 19:53 20.11.2023
Flooding Hamas tunnels with sea water will a nice decision. GOD bless Israel.
Brian K 19:26 20.11.2023
Our Prayers are with Israel and all those who are for righteousness.
[Anonymous] 19:07 20.11.2023
Jordan is in violation of the peace agreement and acts with hostility towards Israel!
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