IDF Starts To Flood Hamas Tunnels With Seawater

( – Hundreds of miles of underground tunnels beneath the Gaza Strip have added an extra dimension of warfare between Israeli forces and Hamas terrorists. Military efforts to collapse and close off the passages have been slow, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) shifting between multiple tactics in an effort to reduce the enemy’s access. Their most recent strategy entails flooding the tunnels with seawater.

Dizzying Underground Network

Many of the tunnels beneath Gaza have been around for decades, but The Associated Press reports that the IDF first became aware of them in 2001. At that time, Hamas soldiers used one of their passages to blow up an Israeli border guard post from beneath. Among several other purposes, the terrorists have used tunnels to reach areas of Israel and attack troops by surprise.

The passages, dubbed the “Metro” by the IDF, are reportedly disorienting and filled with traps and ambush sites. They’re also filled with hideout spots and snipers. Bloomberg reports that the maze of tunnels hides weapons, fighters, and command bases, some fitted with railroad tracks and communications equipment. The underground space, which reaches depths of up to 35 meters, has electricity as well as ventilation shafts. They need fuel to keep air pumping moving through the otherwise stagnant passageways, one of the reasons Israel worked so quickly to cut off Gaza’s supply. Many of the tunnel entrances are hidden in residential areas, according to PBS, often underneath hospitals, schools, and places of worship for added protection.

From Sponge Bombs to Sea Water

The IDF has tried several tactics in its attempts to bring Hamas to the surface. Soldiers have used surveillance drones and overhead strikes with bunker busters to take out connecting tunnels, and they’ve deployed robots and attack dogs into the winding underground areas to discover and clear out new areas. In addition, the IDF has implemented chemical weapons called sponge bombs, which create chemical barriers that can close off whole sections upon detonation.

Daily Wire reports that more recently, Israel has been attempting to destroy the tunnel systems entirely by filling them with water pumped in from the Mediterranean Sea. IDF officials want to ensure they eradicate Hamas, but they also hope to make the tunnels unusable in the event that the terrorists attempt any future insurgencies. They expect to continue the flooding activity for weeks, although no one has mentioned how the remaining hostages might factor into the plan. Hamas has reportedly been keeping them in the underground passages as well.

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