Israel Employing Bunker Busters to Target Hamas Tunnels in Gaza: Reports

  • Bureau
  • 08:42 AM, October 10, 2023
  • 816
Israel Employing Bunker Busters to Target Hamas Tunnels in Gaza: Reports
GBU-72 bomb

Israel has reportedly deployed bunker buster munitions to strike at Hamas-controlled tunnels in Gaza, which serve as a lifeline for the besieged region.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Israeli military has launched a campaign to target these tunnels in northwestern Gaza, employing powerful bunker buster bombs to hit underground Hamas positions.

Bunker busters, specialized munitions designed for penetrating hardened or deeply buried targets, fall into two primary categories. The first type is equipped with a reinforced nose to withstand impact, using its weight and a delayed fuse to penetrate the ground or structures before detonation. The second type carries dual charges, with the initial charge creating an entry point in the target, allowing the main charge to detonate within, causing substantial destruction.

These recent developments coincide with Gaza being engulfed in smoke, marking the fourth day of Israeli bombardment. The enclave, under blockade on all fronts by land, air, and sea, heavily relies on a network of tunnels for vital imports, including food, weapons, and fuel. These tunnels also serve as crucial outposts for Hamas, aiding in storage and transportation.

The use of bunker busters by the Israeli military carries significant strategic implications. In the 2014 Gaza War, Israeli forces reportedly faced challenges when targeting Hamas in tunnels, resulting in casualties among their own ranks. Bunker busters provide a means to strike Hamas from a safe distance, reducing the exposure of Israeli soldiers to such risks.

Israel's arsenal of bunker busters, which includes the advanced GBU-72 model, is sourced from both domestic production and acquisitions from the United States. The GBU-72, sought by Israel in 2021, has the ability to penetrate up to 30 meters of earth or 6 meters of concrete, causing destruction in the immediate vicinity and generating shockwaves capable of triggering cave-ins in subterranean structures.

Beyond their effectiveness against tunnel networks and underground facilities, ground penetration munitions also prove useful in demolishing tall buildings and towers, penetrating from top to foundation and causing structural collapse, rather than a conventional explosion.

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