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Israel starts to flood tunnels in Gaza - WSJ

The operation may take weeks, the report says

NEW YORK, December 12. /TASS/. The Israeli military has started pumping seawater into the system of tunnels in the Gaza Strip, as Israel believes they are used by Hamas fighters, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US officials.

The report said the operation, which is part of an effort to destroy Hamas infrastructure, could take weeks.

In early December, the newspaper wrote that the Israel Defense Forces completed the installation of five pumping stations near the Al-Shati refugee camp in mid-November. The stations are capable of flooding the tunnels within a few weeks by pumping water from the Mediterranean Sea. The newspaper said it is almost impossible to predict the impact of an attempt to flood the tunnels on the soil and groundwater, as well as what will happen to the water supply and sewage systems in the enclave. In addition, there is the possibility that the flooding could release hazardous substances that are likely to be in the tunnels into the soil.

The newspaper said the move could put US President Joe Biden and his administration on the spot and would draw condemnation from around the world. Earlier, Russia's UN mission said that if Israel were to flood the tunnels in the Gaza Strip, it should be considered a war crime.