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Is Israel planning to flood Hamas tunnels under Gaza?

Speaking live on Scripps News, Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner addresses plans regarding Hamas' tunnel network.
Posted at 2:20 PM, Dec 06, 2023

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Israel may have plans to flood tunnels that Hamas is believed to be hiding in under the Gaza strip.

The WSJ report says Israel has "assembled a large system of pumps in order to flush Hamas out with sea water."

Speaking live on Scripps News, Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner addressed questions about his nation's plans regarding Hamas' tunnel network.

"I would be very cautious in going beyond and detailing the specifics of our technical, tactical and technological capabilities of combating the tunnel," Lerner told Scripps News. "The tunnel network, it is vast, and of course there are many different tools that we've developed over the last 10 years in order to address the tunnel network."

He said Hamas' tunnel network is over 310 miles long, calling it "extremely extensive." He believes it to be the largest construction project in the history of Gaza.

While speaking to Scripps News, Lerner did not confirm or deny that the Israeli military plans to flood the tunnels, but he did suggest there was some sort of plan to combat them.

"We are confident we can confront them, we have the tools, we have the technology, and we have the heart and soul in our forces to do so," Lerner said.

When asked directly about the flooding, Lerner said, "I can't elaborate on the techniques and technologies that we have."

The potential plan to flood the Hamas tunnels could destroy the infrastructure and force fighters out. But it would also threaten the dwindling fresh water supply in Gaza, as well as the safe return of hostages being held by Hamas.

There are currently 138 hostages being held in Gaza by Hamas, according to IDF.