The Israeli Army admitted this Tuesday to having flooded Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip to destroy them, since militants from the Palestinian Islamist group are hiding there, as well as bases for supervising attacks and weapons.
The army “has implemented new capabilities to neutralize underground terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip by channeling large volumes of water into the tunnels,” a military statement detailed today, something that had never been confirmed until now by Israeli forces, despite rumors.
According to the Israeli troops, “the water pumping was only carried out in the routes and locations of the tunnel that were suitable,” after having studied the location of wells and the characteristics of the subsoil, without damaging the groundwater channelingand after the installation of pumps and pipes in the Strip.
Families of the 136 hostages who are still held in Gaza have shown from the beginning fear for this practicenow confirmed, since it could also put in danger to captives.
It is estimated that Hamas has developed a network of more than 480 kilometers of tunnels throughout the Palestinian enclave, and that only a tiny part of them have been destroyed in the almost four months of the Israeli offensive.
Yesterday, in a tunnel just over a kilometer long and 20 kilometers deep, the army claimed in a statement to have found a military base from which a Hamas commando in Khan Yunissouth of the Strip, would have supervised attacks, including the one on October 7.
The tunnel was destroyed by the Yahalom special unit, which demolished it after completing the inspection.
However, until 80% of Hamas’ vast tunnel network under Gaza remains intact after weeks of Israeli efforts to destroy itUS and Israeli officials revealed to The Wall Street Journalwhich hinders Israel’s core war goals.
Despite the intense operations, Israel has failed to destroy more than 20% of the extensive underground network in Gaza, added the North American media.
The difficulty in eradicating these underground tunnels has become a significant obstacle to Israel’s war goals, which include capturing senior Hamas leaders and rescuing Israeli hostages. Israel has employed various techniques in its attempt to disable the tunnels, such as installing bombs to flood them with water from the Mediterranean Sea, carrying out air attacks and using liquid explosives, as well as deploying search dogs and robots.
The complications in achieving these objectives are accentuated by the need to differentiate between combatants and civilians, and the complexity of the tunnel structure.
“Hamas’s entire strategy revolves around the tunnels: it is its center of gravity. They needed the tunnels to level the battlefield with the IDF,” said Mick Mulroy, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a Marine Corps and Central Intelligence Agency officer. “The tunnels are where Hamas planned [antes del 7 de octubre] “waiting for Israel’s political will to run out while Israel faced pressure for a ceasefire.”
With intense fighting in the south of the Strip, at least 114 Gazans have died in the last 24 hours by Israeli bombings, which brings the total number of deaths to 26,750, according to the latest data from the Gaza Ministry of Health, controlled by Hamas.
(With information from EFE)