The Israeli occupation is studying a plan to “flood” Gaza tunnels with seawater using pumps, forcing Hamas fighters to leave while threatening to ruin Gaza’s fresh water supply and destroy its infrastructure.
Experts believe that Israel’s plan is mainly a psychological warfare tactic against the resistance, but is not actually a feasible maneuver to get them out of the tunnels.
A report by the Wall Street Journal reported US officials as saying that occupation forces had finished assembling five pumps a mile north of the Beach Refugee Camp in the middle of November.
Each pump can draw water from the Mediterranean Sea, diverting thousands of cubic meters of water per hour into the tunnels and flooding them within weeks.
The report added that it is not yet clear whether Israel will consider using pumps before releasing all the hostages, as Hamas said earlier that it hid hostages in “safe places and tunnels.”
The report noted that Israel first informed the US of the option last month, saying that officials do not know when the Netanyahu government will implement that plan.
The report quoted an unnamed American official as saying: “It is logical that Israel will work to disable the tunnels and render them unusable, and that it will resort to several methods to achieve this.”
An occupation army official said that his army was working to remove what he called “Hamas’ capabilities” through various methods, the report added.
Regarding Israel’s possible plan, the advisor to the Command and Staff College Mohamed al-Shahawi said that the Israeli army has not been able to discover or destroy the tunnel system for 59 days.
He explained that the passages below ground dug by the Palestinian resistance are at a depth of approximately 15-35 meters, therefore bombs are unable to reach or affect them.
The tunnels are about 500 kilometers long, are not connected to each other and include barriers, Shahawi said, therefore Israel will not be able to flood them with water as hostages are still inside.
He continued: “I believe that this falls within the framework of psychological warfare against the Palestinian resistance to improve the terms of negotiations for the release of prisoners held by Hamas,” concluding: “The plan is unrealistic and will not affect the tunnels.”
A professor of geology at the British University in Cairo, Mostafa Mahmoud Suleiman, explained that this plan would have no impact on the infrastructure of the Gaza Strip if implemented.
He added that discovering the tunnels is no easy matter, and this tactic is simply a “psychological warfare” bluff that should not be taken seriously.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm