IDF's 'breakthrough' Atlantis project floods Gaza tunnels with massive amounts of water

IDF announces that project is operational and confirms for the first time that seawater has been pumped into the terror tunnels: 'Only carried out in tunnel routes and locations that are suitable'
The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday revealed new details about the Atlantis project to neutralize underground terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip by channeling large volumes of seawater into the tunnels, and announces that it has become operational. The announcement comes after of a report in the United States that the program was only a partial success.
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"This is part of a range of tools deployed by the IDF to neutralize the threat of Hamas’ subterranean network of tunnels," according to the military. At the same time, the fighting continues in the northern Gaza Strip and, according to the IDF, about 100 terrorists were killed in a raid around a hospital that lasted a day.
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הזרמת מי ים למנהרת חמאס
הזרמת מי ים למנהרת חמאס
Sea water is pumped into a Gaza tunnel
(Photo: Yoav Zitun)
The IDF said that the capabilities consist of installing pumps and pipes, the materialization of engineering developments, and the ability to locate tunnel shafts suitable for the deployment of these tools. The capability was developed by professionals, including analysis of the soil characteristics and the water systems in the area to ensure that damage is not done to the area's groundwater. In addition, the pumping of water is only carried out in tunnel routes and locations that are suitable, by matching the method of operation to each case.
"This project was developed following combat procedures, accelerated force-building efforts, and while training forces with technological expertise. This tool is one of a range of capabilities developed by the IDF and Israel’s security establishment in recent years in order to operate against Hamas' underground infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. These efforts against Hamas include air strikes, underground combat operations, and special operations with technological assets," the IDF said in a statement.
"This tool represents a significant engineering and technological breakthrough in combating the threat of underground terror infrastructure and is the result of a collaborative effort between various bodies in Israel’s security establishment," the statement also noted.
The Atlantis project began at the end of last year, when Israel began installing pumps in the northern Gaza Strip. The Wall Street Journal reported early on Tuesday that, earlier this month, Israel installed at least one pump in Khan Younis to damage the network of tunnels there. A U.S. official said that water from the Mediterranean Sea was used in the first pumps in Gaza, while water from Israel is used in the new pump.
According to the same report, in some cases, walls and other barriers stopped the flow of water. Sea water caused corrosion in some of the tunnels, but according to U.S. officials the plan was not as effective as they had expected in Israel.

A one-day raid around Shifa: '100 terrorists were eliminated'

Meanwhile, the fighting also continues in the northern Gaza Strip. The forces of Division 162 on Tuesday completed a day-long raid on Hamas targets around Shifa Hospital, during which, according to the IDF, about 100 terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire with the forces. In one of the incidents, a Hamas anti-tank squad was identified that was attacked from the air.
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בית חולוים שיפא, עזה
בית חולוים שיפא, עזה
Shifa Hospital, Gaza
(Photo: AFP)
Similar raids also have been conducted in recent weeks in the southern neighborhoods of Gaza City and are expected to continue in the coming months to deepen the achievements of the IDF and to allow the exposure of the remaining Hamas operatives in the northern Gaza Strip and eliminate them.
In southern Gaza, forces of Division 98 arrested three terrorists Monday behind the door of a strategic tunnel in Khan Younis, during an operation by an elite unit there. The three were transferred to the Shin Bet for questioning and the investigation of the tunnel continues. Division 98 is the only division that is currently maneuvering in the Gaza Strip and the focus of its activity is on the refugee camp in the west of the city, after Division 36 left the Strip about two weeks ago, to begin readiness exercises for the northern arena and may replace reserve forces in defense missions on the Lebanese border.
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