Reports have revealed that in a bid to hit Hamas, Israel is set to pump seawater into tunnels in Gaza.
Israel has assembled a system of large pumps with which it could flood the extensive tunnel network of the Islamist movement Hamas under the Gaza Strip with seawater, according to media reports.
Citing U.S. government officials, the U.S. newspaper, Wall Street Journal, reported on Monday that it was not known whether the Israeli government intended to use this tactic.
Israel has neither made a final decision nor ruled out such a plan, the officials were quoted as saying.
Israeli forces completed the installation of large seawater pumps north of the Al-Shati refugee camp in mid-November, they said.
At least five pumps were installed, which can draw water from the Mediterranean Sea and direct thousands of cubic metres of water per hour into the tunnels, flooding them within a few weeks, the newspaper reported.
With such a tactic, Israel would be able to destroy the tunnels and drive the terrorists out of their underground hideout, it said.
On the other hand, this would threaten the Gaza Strip’s water supply, U.S. officials were quoted as saying.
Israel first informed the U.S. of this option in early November, prompting a discussion in which the feasibility and environmental impact were weighed against the military value of taking out the tunnels, the report said.
The Israeli army said it had found more than 800 tunnel shafts since the beginning of the Gaza war.
They said on Sunday that about 500 of them have already been destroyed.