A Palestinian fighter from Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades inside a Gaza tunnel (Reuters)
The newspaper Le Figaro said that Israel is considering the use of "sponge bombs", to try to close the tunnels of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) dug in the basements of the Gaza Strip, which bombs do not actually contain any explosive substance, but - according to the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph - produce through a chemical reaction "a sudden explosion of foam that expands quickly and then hardens."
According to the French newspaper, this new weapon was developed by Israel several years ago, and IDF soldiers were seen "deploying these devices during exercises in 2021" when the army set up a fake tunnel network at the Tzeelim military base near the border with Gaza, to close the entrances to the tunnels or the gaps through which Hamas fighters could exit.
In the aftermath of the October 7 Hamas attack, Israel sought by all means to destroy the military infrastructure dug under the Gaza Strip, a secret network described by the Modern Warfare Institute at the US Military Academy West Point as an "underground nightmare," stretching between 300 and 500 kilometers, dug to a depth of 40 to 50 meters, and could be equipped with advanced communications, lighting and even ventilation.
A specialized Israeli unit has been established to explore these tunnels using technological tools such as drones, sensors, thermal vision systems, etc., and Israel has tried several times to destroy these facilities in recent years by blowing them up or using bulldozers, although Hamas was able each time to rebuild them, but the "sponge bombs" this time will give Israel a great military advantage, which is that the "expanded foam system" will fill areas of tens of cubic meters, making the tunnels permanently unusable. According to the Daily Telegraph.
According to Lovigaro, these "bombs" consist of two liquids located in the same bag and separated by a metal barrier, and when they are thrown into the tunnels, the two products mix causing a chemical reaction, and then a wave of foam spreads before it expands and solidifies to clog the cavities of the tunnel, and these liquids do not cause explosions and thus limit collateral damage, and they are resistant to water, chemicals and non-flammable.
Source: Le Figaro