Israel confirms it’s FLOODING Hamas terror tunnels with sea water to flush out Gaza fighters & destroy underground HQs

Israel confirms it’s FLOODING Hamas terror tunnels with sea water to flush out Gaza fighters & destroy underground HQs

ISRAEL has confirmed it has begun flooding Hamas’s matrix of tunnels beneath the Gaza Strip with sea water to flush out the terrorists.

Dubbed the “Gaza Metro”, the IDF has switched its tactics to start using large pumps to help destroy Hamas’s remaning underground strongholds as fierce battles rage on above.

Israel has long been hellbent on destroying ever last tunnel used by Hamas underneath the Strip

Footage from December suggested Israel had already began pumping seawater into ‘Gaza’s Metro’

ReutersThe IDF is switching up its tactics to try and destroy the tunnels without having to risk troops storming in[/caption]

Today, Israel’s military announced that it has “implemented new capabilities” in its bids to “neutralise underground terrorist infrastructure, including channelling large volumes of water into them”.

The IDF said: “This is a significant tool in combating the threat of Hamas’ underground terrorist infrastructure.”

It followed media reports in December that said Israel was considering and may have started pumping seawater into the sprawling labyrinth of tunnels in northern Gaza,

However, experts had warned the tactic was far too dangerous and posed a huge risk to Gaza’s trapped civilians.

There were also concerns for the some 140 hostages that remain in the hands of Hamas and their militia allies and likely being held in the tunnels.

The IDF’s statement today said the method will only be utilised “in locations where it is suitable” and that the “soil and water systems” would been taken into account before they began flooding areas.

Hamas’s well-established tunnels built over the last 16 years were used to launch Hamas’s October 7 attacks and have been a constant thorn in the side of Israel’s offensive in the bomb-blitzed Strip.

Before the outbreak of war on October 7, a US military report claimed there were over 1,300 tunnels that formed a network that spread over 310 miles under the Gaza Strip.

Destroying them remains one of Israel’s chief war aims.

Israel hopes to totally dismantle the terror network, which they claim is built beneath schools, hospitals and mosques, and bring the war above ground.

But with almost half the tunnel system still in-tact, Israel has feared that Hamas leaders could hunker down and survive the war deep underground.

Storming the network has proved complicated as subterranean warfare makes troops vulnerable to ambushes, booby traps and the possibility of kidnappings.

Elsewhere Israel has previously used concrete to destroy tunnels, like those used by Iran-backed Hezbollah on Israel’s border with Lebanon.

Egypt has also flooded smuggling tunnels crossing its border with Gaza in the past.

In December, Israel claimed to have destroyed over 500 tunnel entrances to entomb Hamas terrorists.

Methods have included using drones detect the hidden structures before planes take out the deeper defences with bombs which burrow before exploding.

Armoured bulldozers have been clearing areas above the tunnels while attack dogs, unmanned vehicles and robots are used to explore underground.

And new high-tech “sponge bombs” — chemical devices that create an explosion of foam which solidifies into an airtight barrier to seal off entrances — are designed to leave Hamas troops to starve or suffocate.

The news of the tunnel-flooding tactic comes after footage emerged today that showed elite Israeli soldiers disguised as medics killing a Hamas chief and his two cronies.

The armed special ops team dressed up as doctors and nurses to infiltrated a terror base inside a hospital to “neutralise” the targets, the IDF said.

It follows new analysis that showed that half of Gaza’s buildings have been damaged or destroyed since war broke out.

BBC revealed that between 144,000 and 175,000 – 50 to 61 per cent – buildings across the whole Gaza Strip have been partially collapsed or destroyed.

Israel’s offensive has killed more than 26,700 people – mostly women and children – in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Gazan Health Ministry.

The ministry count does not distinguish between fighters and civilians and Israel claims the figures are not accurate.

The war has levelled vast swaths of the tiny coastal enclave, displaced 85% of its population, and pushed a quarter of residents to starvation.

The UN has warned of a further deterioration after several countries froze funding to the main aid provider in Gaza in the wake of Israeli claims that a dozen of its workers participated in the October 7 assault.

Israeli intelligence discovered seven employees of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) stormed into Israel and two took part in kidnappings.

AFPIsrael has been relentlessly pounding the Gaza Strip with aerial blitzes as it ploughs on with its offensive inside Gaza[/caption]

AlamySmoke from bombardment billows in the background as displaced Palestinians flee from Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip[/caption]

APHalf of all buildings inside Gaza are said to have been damaged or destroyed[/caption]

GettyThe rubble and ruin of the Strip after over three months of gruelling war[/caption]

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