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Israel begins to flood Hamas tunnels with sea water

Israel is considering plans to flood Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip with seawater, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a US official. In November, the Israeli army deployed five large water pumps near the Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza. These pumps are capable of pumping thousands of cubic meters of water per hour, allowing the tunnels to be flooded in a few weeks.

The flooding process could take about a week and would allow militants and hostages to escape the tunnels. However, the effectiveness of this method remains in question, since the exact characteristics of the tunnels and the surrounding soil are unknown.

Israel has not yet made a decision on whether to proceed with the plan, but notified US officials of it in November. In addition, it is known that several tunnels were test flooded. In the US, reaction to the plan has been mixed, particularly over concerns about potential damage to Gaza's aquifer and soil.

Military operations to eliminate the "terrorist potential of Hamas" are being carried out by Israel in various ways, including the use of a variety of military and technological tools, but there has been no official comment on this issue from the Israeli army.

No outsider has an accurate map of the tunnels, and their entrances are often hidden under the guise of ordinary doors and shafts. Experts believe that fighting in the tunnels deprives the Israeli army of advantages, in particular the ability to use tanks and helicopters.

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