Russia warns that alleged Israeli plan to flood terror tunnels is a ‘war crime’

‘War crimes are snowballing — shocking reports that Israel plans to flood underground facilities in the Gaza Strip with seawater.’

By World Israel News Staff

A Russian diplomat at the United Nations has issued a stark warning regarding Israel’s reported plan to flood Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip with sea water, suggesting it could constitute a “war crime.”

“War crimes are snowballing — shocking reports have been circulated in recent days that Israel plans to flood underground facilities in the Gaza Strip with seawater,” Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Dmitry Polyansky told the Security Council.

He elaborated on the specifics of the plan, stating, “According to open sources, the IDF has already built a system of pumps and pipes to pump seawater and is currently discussing with the United States practical aspects of such flooding: whether there will be enough water or if the tunnels’ ‘topography’ is fit for that and so on. Such a step, if made, will constitute a blatant war crime.”

The Wall Street Journal earlier this week reported on the IDF’s construction of large seawater pumps for the possible aim of flooding the tunnels within weeks. Citing unnamed American officials, the report said that Israel had informed the White House last month that at least five pumps had been set up just north of the Al-Shati refugee camp near Gaza City, which could draw thousands of cubic meters of water an hour from the Mediterranean Sea into the underground passageways.

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This would simultaneously force Hamas terrorists out, destroy hidden war materiel and provisions, and render the tunnels obsolete.

However, Israel’s commitment to the plan remains uncertain, particularly due to concerns over hostages possibly held in the tunnels. “We are not sure how successful pumping will be, since nobody knows the details of the tunnels and the ground around them,” a source said.

Russian outlet TASS reported Polyansky’s criticism of the Western media’s portrayal of the plan. “Obviously, it is a real plan of action to undermine the enclave’s fragile agricultural capacities, because seawater will inevitably contaminate Gaza’s subsoil waters,” Polyansky said.

In 2015, Egypt pumped seawater into several tunnels that Hamas had been using to smuggle in weapons and goods as large as cars from the Sinai.