To force out 'combatants,' Israel has put up a sizable system of pumps that might be utilized to flood Hamas tunnels beneath the Gaza Strip, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Monday that quoted US sources.
The report stated that Israel's army finished installing at least five pumps in mid-November, located around one mile north of the Al-Shati refugee camp. These pumps could transfer thousands of cubic meters of water per hour, which might flood the tunnels in a matter of weeks.
The report stated that it was unclear if Israel would think about deploying the pumps before the release of all captives. In the past, Hamas has claimed to have concealed its hostages in "safe places and tunnels."
Details of Monday's story could not be independently verified by Reuters.
In response to a question on the story, a US official stated that Israel had every right to close the tunnels and that it was looking into several options for doing so.
A request for comment was not immediately answered by Israel's defense ministry.
An Israel Defence Forces (IDF) source was cited by the Wall Street Journal as stating, "The IDF is operating to dismantle Hamas’s terror capabilities in various ways, using different military and technological tools." The official declined to comment on the flooding plan.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Israel notified the United States about the possibility for the first time last month. However, authorities were unsure of how close Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government was to implementing the plan.
According to the officials, Israel has not decided whether to move forward with it or not.