Israel-Hamas war updates
According to Mail Online, Israel is said to have installed at least five pumps about a mile from the Al-Shati refugee camp in the north of the coastal enclave that could move thousands of cubic metres of water per hour, flooding 300 miles of tunnels.
US officials have now revealed that the operation has begun, with the Biden administration being told that it will take weeks, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Asked about the report, the Israeli Defence Force’s chief of staff Lt Gen Herzi Halevi appeared to to confirm the news, telling a press conference that employing water pumps to make tunnels inoperable would be a ‘good idea’.
‘We are seeing a lot of underground infrastructure in Gaza, we knew there would be a lot. Part of the goal is to destroy this infrastructure,’ Lt Gen Halevi said on Tuesday.
‘We have various ways [to deal with the tunnels]. I won’t talk about specifics, but they include explosives to destroy, and other means to prevent Hamas operatives from using the tunnels to harm our soldiers.’
Why Israel is focusing on the tunnel?
It comes amid fears that Hamas is harbouring Israeli hostages in the labyrinth of passages and that the tactic could prove fatal for those trapped inside, with families continuing to pressure the government to bring them home before it is too late.
The IDF announced on Tuesday that it had recovered the bodies of two Israelis taken hostage on October 7 – 27-year-old Eden Zacharia who had been taken from the Nova Festival and army Warrant Officer Ziv Dado, 36.
Army spokesman Daniel Hagari said 135 hostages remain in Gaza, as their families tirelessly campaign for them to be brought home immediately.