Israel kicked Hamas’ ass in the last iteration of the ongoing Gaza War. Hamas and its Western media enablers are trying to spin it as some sort of victory but the fact they accepted the “no deal” terms which had been on offer for a month suggests otherwise.
Which does not change the fact that Hamas is still a terrorist force which is capable of shooting rockets and digging tunnels.
Iron Dome is doing an outstanding job of neutralizing the rockets but what about the tunnels and the leadership bunkers and underground arsenals. The Israeli Airforce and the Army made a good deal of progress but the fact is to take down the tunnel/bunker infrastructure would have required street by street fighting in nasty urban environments. A lot of Israeli soldiers would have died.
So, is there another way?
There may be. Gaza is a very small place much of it is only 6 kilometers wide. It is also a place, as the Hamas tunnellers have demonstrated, which has a soil geology almost ideal for tunnelling: sand, sandstone and loess.
Hamas uses hand labour – including child labour – to dig its tunnels.
Here is my suggestion for the underground equivalent of Iron Dome.
Imagine a couple of these big boys running along the Gaza Israel Border and building a series of tunnels which, in turn would be flooded with water from the Mediterranean. Now it might sound like an unrealistic project but the fact is that these giant machines can grind through 100 plus meters a week of hard soil, in the soft soil of the Gaza border they might well get that up to 200 or even 300 meters a week. Running two machines and focusing on the high priority sections of the border a defensive cordon of counter tunnels could be dug in a matter of a few months and Gaza could be entirely surrounded in a couple of years.
Offensively, smaller, faster tunnelling machines could head into Gaza and directly towards the Headquarters bunkers, arsenals and the locus points of attack tunnels. Here basic automated mining technology could be employed.
This is an intelligent coal mining machine. It can rip through coal – a rock generally harder than the rock in Gaza – at a 100-200 meters per day. The run from the Israeli border to, say Gaza City is a few kilometers. Running a number of these machines into the Hamas underground concentration points would avoid the casualties of a ground attack. The machine could look for and break into Hamas underground structures and then either blow them up or open up the flood gates from the water filled protection tunnels and simply flood Hamas out.
While all of these machines are expensive to buy and to run we’re talking hundreds of millions rather than billions. A sum Israel can certainly afford if it floods out the Hamas rats.