Those who wish Israel ill are up in arms about the IDF’s plan to flood the network of tunnels Hamas has built under Gaza. They are angry because they fear the novel plan will work: Hamas operatives will be flushed out, forced to scurry out of the tunnels and appear above ground, where the IDF can pick them off. The water in the tunnels will also weaken the tunnels by soaking their walls, and the soil just above them, so that they will be more susceptible to eventual collapse; Hamas will never again be able to use them as they have been doing. More on the proposed tunnel flooding, and the reasons given by Hamas and its supporters as why it should not take place, can be found here: “Did the UN Human Rights Council just admit Hamas steals civilian aid? Plus, the dumbest argument yet against flooding tunnels,” Elder of Ziyon, December 15, 2023:
The UN Human Rights X account tweeted something spectacularly stupid:
Israel’s flooding of tunnels with saltwater could have severe adverse human rights impacts, some long term. Goods indispensable to civilian survival could also be at risk, as well as widespread, long-term & severe environmental damage. Civilians must be protected.Hold on: when they say “Goods indispensable to civilian survival could also be at risk,” doesn’t that mean that they are admitting that Hamas tunnels are warehouses for the aid that the world has been sending into Gaza for the past decades?
Yes, there is no other possible interpretation: those “goods indispensable to civilian survival” — humanitarian aid — are apparently being stored in those tunnels, Hamas having seized them from the shipments of aid meant for all the people of Gaza. Hamas has now stored them inside its tunnels for safe-keeping, for the future care and feeding of Hamas operatives alone. The rest of the Gazans will have to make do with whatever ”goods indispensable to civilian survival” Hamas left behind after taking its massive cut.Critics of the flooding plan, like Eurasia Review, also say things like “Flooding the tunnels could damage Gaza’s aquifer and soil, if seawater and hazardous substances in the tunnels seep into them.”
“Hazardous substances” means “explosives.”
Now, why might there be explosives in the tunnels?…
The list of bad things listed in that article that “could” happen if Israel floods the tunnels is almost comical, but the pièce de résistance (so to speak) comes at the end.
Flooding the tunnels could affect the cultural heritage and identity of Gaza, which has a rich and diverse history and culture. The tunnels are part of Gaza’s landscape and memory, and they reflect its character and spirit. Flooding the tunnels could .. affect the cultural expressions and practices of Gaza’s people, such as the art, literature and folklore that are inspired by or related to the tunnels.
Yes, the terror tunnels must be protected because they are an important part of Gaza’s culture!
The tunnels were built by the terror group Hamas to do one thing: help facilitate the terror group’s murderous attacks on Israelis. That is their sole reason for being. The tunnel network has served as a vast underground pedestrian passage, allowing the hiding of weapons, rocket launchers, and Hamas terrorists under most of Gaza, and also allowed the undetected movement underground of weapons and fighters. The tunnels are instruments of murder, not “cultural artifacts” that must be preserved as part of Gaza’s “landscape and memory.” These terror tunnels cost billions of dollars to construct; they likely represent the greatest misallocation of resources in the Middle East since the pyramids were built in the Valley of the Kings.
Do the Gazans really want those ghastly tunnels — which will be left in ruins by the IDF — to be thought of as part of the “cultural heritage and identity of Gaza”? How many Germans like to think of the extermination camps as part of the “cultural heritage and identity” of their country, or aren’t those camps, rather, something of which they are ashamed? The camps are part of their history, but not of their “cultural heritage,” which is a different, and a positive, thing.
How many Russians want to preserve the Soviet labor camps of Vorkuta and Kolyma, as part of their “cultural heritage”? A museum in Moscow, containing testimonies, photographs, and videos, of life in the camps that constituted the Gulag, would be enough to preserve the memory of that hideous aspect of Soviet history.
By all means, the people of Gaza should preserve the memory of the malignant and wasteful tunnels forced on them by Hamas, but they have no need to preserve what remains of those tunnels — 800 of the approximately 1000 that existed have already been destroyed by the IDF —themselves. Must the tunnels really be preserved as part of Gaza’s “landscape and memory,” or are they testimony only to the murderous madness of Hamas, hellbent on murder, and indifferent to the wellbeing of the people of Gaza it has caused? Perhaps one tunnel might be preserved, so that Gazan schoolchildren can visit and see what Hamas wrought in its unhinged unquenchable desire to kill Israelis; that would be more than enough to preserve the memory of the terror group’s madness. Some claim that the tunnels must not be flooded because the resulting damage would affect “the art, literature and folklore that are inspired by or related to the tunnels.” I very much doubt that the “art, literature, and folklore” of Gaza — is there any worth mentioning? — could ever be “inspired” in a good way by those hideous tunnels. Go to it, IDF engineers. Flood those tunnels. Flush the killers out.