A new report revealed this Sunday that despite Israel’s plans to destroy all Hamas tunnels as a war strategy to win the battle, more than 80 percent of the tunnels are still intact.
A few weeks after the war between Israel and Hamas erupted on October 7, Israeli military officials announced of their plans to beat Hamas to the ground by first destroying the group’s underground tunnels.
In this regard, an Israeli official said back in early November that the Israeli military “plans to pump water into the tunnels and take the Hamas forces up on the ground and hunt them there.”
However, a newly-released report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) revealed that Israel has failed tragically in fulfilling this war goal. As the report noted this Sunday, “Israel has destroyed only 20 percent of Hamas tunnels in Gaza since the beginning of the war with Hamas and the Palestinian resistance that began almost four months ago.”
The WSJ report further noted that Israel has tried to destroy the tunnels “in several ways, including hitting them with airstrikes and liquid explosives, searching them with dogs and robots, destroying their entrances, and raiding them with elite soldiers.”
However, nearly 80 percent of Hamas’s vast warren of tunnels under Gaza remains intact after weeks of Israeli efforts to destroy them. Hamas tunnels have always been a source of panic and concern for Israel. There are around 500 km of tunnels under Gaza which give Hamas a great leverage in its battle with Israel.
Israeli officials believe that the tunnels are where Hamas can securely store weapons and ammunition, hide and transport its fighters, hold Israeli captives, and operate command-and-control centers for its leadership.
But the reckless efforts of Israel to destroy Hamas tunnels have also caused a scale of urban destruction in Gaza that may be impossible to reverse. In other words, Israel has used the tunnels as a pretext to destroy civilian infrastructure in Gaza, including entire residential areas, using 2,000 bunker-buster bombs supplied by the US and other Western allies of Israel.
Israeli people against tunnel flooding!
Many Israelis, especially the families of the hostages, blame the Netanyahu government for the flooding plan of the tunnels and believe there might be Israeli captives in the tunnels and killing Hamas militia by drowning them in their tunnels can kill Israeli hostages as well.
In a meeting with Israel’s war cabinet, released captives and family members of captives angrily told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu they feared that flooding the tunnels, where many of the captives are presumably being held, would kill their loved ones.
The Israeli government, however, has shown during the Gaza war that it doesn’t care that much about saving the lives of Israeli people at the cost of risking its war plans. Earlier this month, several reports revealed a tragic fact about how Israeli security forces recklessly killed hundreds of Israeli people on October 7 and while they were fighting Hamas.
This amount of ruthlessness in the Israeli military about killing its own people emanates from a controversial military policy that Israel has adopted called the Hannibal Directive. The directive says that in case Israeli soldiers or civilians are held captive by the enemy, it’s better to kill them rather than have to negotiate and give concessions to win their release.