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Israel Considers Flooding Hamas Out

Israel is considering using seawater to flood the extensive network of tunnels used by Hamas militants under the city of Gaza. The terrorists use the tunnels beneath the city to smuggle goods in and out of the Palestinian enclave, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing sources.

According to US officials interviewed by the WSJ, the Israeli military assembled an extensive flooding system not far from the Al-Shati refugee camp in northwest Gaza in mid-November. The unit reportedly consists of five pumps capable of drawing thousands of cubic meters of water per hour from the Mediterranean Sea, potentially allowing Israel to flood the underground maze within a few weeks.

The WSJ further reports that this plan could drive Hamas fighters out of the sprawling system of tunnels, which span hundreds of kilometers, with some passages reaching into Egypt. However, there’s a catch.

The network of tunnels also provides Hamas and other local Islamist terrorist groups with formidable cover from missile strikes and allows them to evade Israel’s blockade. Some tunnels are tall enough for an average man to stand up in, are built from reinforced concrete, and boast a network of communication lines, reported RT. 

This could be a humanitarian disaster for the already water-deprived city of Gaza. The flooding could ruin Gaza’s freshwater supply and damage infrastructure relied on by civilians.

Wim Zwijnenburg, who is an environmental expert, noted that the flooding could wash hazardous materials out of the tunnels, further contaminating the soil in Gaza. He also said that Gaza’s aquifer has been getting saltier recently due to rising sea levels already and flooding could ruin the freshwater supply.

The war, which began October 7th, has also exacerbated the ever-present water crisis in Gaza City. According to the United Nations, Palestinians receive no more than three liters per day, compared to the minimum of 15 liters.

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