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Israel May Use New ‘Sponge Bombs’ to Neutralize Hamas Attack Tunnels

Israel May Use New ‘Sponge Bombs’ to Neutralize Hamas Attack Tunnels

Better warfare through chemistry.

In 2018, Legal Insurrection reported on the use of a concrete slurry, which the Israel Defense Forces used as part of the continuing battle to neutralize Hezbollah attack tunnels dug from southern Lebanon into northern Israel.

The Israelis took this idea one step further, creating the “Sponge Bomb” to close Hamas attack tunnels.

The Israel Defense Force could deploy the new handheld devices to negotiate Hamas’ labyrinthine tunnel system –and trap any hidden fighters in them once they launch their long-awaited ground invasion into Gaza, according to reports.

The sponge bombs consist of chemical compounds based around a liquid emulsion.

It can be thrown into a tunnel where it swiftly expands and hardens.

The device would leave Hamas fighters with no escape and allow Israeli commandos to secure safe routes to travel while searching for hostages.

It is difficult to determine how useful these devices will be, as there have been mixed results and chemical exposure incidents when units have been tested.

Troops are said to have used the handheld devices at the Israeli military’s ‘mini Gaza’, a mock-up of the urban warren where they will soon be expected to fight constructed at the Urban Warfare Training Center in the Negev desert.

According to the Telegraph, the bombs feature a metal partition separating the two volatile liquids, which immediately react when they touch.

The material is said to be so hazardous that Israeli troops were blinded during practise sessions.

Foam and even slime have often been considered for their potential military utility, but results have been modest.

Tunnels present unique operational challenges when the units are attempted to be activated remotely. Throwbots, sturdy spy robots that transmit audio and video to a remote control unit, are a potential option for use in attempts to deploy sponge bombs.

Adding to the challenge, there is essential an entire city that has been built underneath the streets of Gaza.

Micro-drones have also been proposed for reconnaissance, their purpose is to aid troops in navigating the intricate tunnel system while minimising potential risks.

However, the operation of robots and drones within the underground passages has encountered several obstacles, including weak signals and navigation difficulties. Various technological adaptations, such as throwbots and micro-drones for reconnaissance, have been suggested, aiming to aid troops in navigating the intricate tunnel system while minimizing potential risks.

As per Former Israeli military brigadier general Amir Avivi, “There is a whole city all over Gaza underneath with depths of 40-50 metres. There are bunkers and headquarters and storage and, of course, they are connected to more than a thousand rocket launching positions.”

Hamas is believed to have dug some of the Gaza tunnel network decades ago, back in the mid-1990s. As per reports, these tunnels have evolved into a multifaceted infrastructure. Much of it stretches under civilian structures, and has exit/entry points in civilian areas.

Any innovation that can make it easier for the IDF to extract hostages, destroy Hamas, and give the underground “city” the Carthage treatment would be helpful. Better warfare through chemistry. Hopefully, the IDF can fine-tune the challenges behind the sponge bombs.


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Palestinian birth control.

Wow! To my blurry eyes this morning, I thought the headline was: “Israel May Use New ‘Sponge Bobs’ to Neutralize Hamas Attack Tunnels”.

I would just use Mr. Crabs.

    Morning Sunshine in reply to navyvet. | October 30, 2023 at 9:06 am

    I have done the same in articles about this innovation.

    But hey, if playing a continuous loop of “baby shark” can be ruled as “cruel and unusual punishment,” I suspect a mass broadcasting of sponge bob could as well?

      I suggest placing speakers directed downwards over the tunnel areas and playing some of my son’s band’s death metal at full volume. That will either drive them out or they’ll hurt themselves trying to mosh in the tunnels – either way you’ve achieved some measure of success.

      Nah. Now, playing “Ren and Stimpy” to them on a loop would be a war crime.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to navyvet. | October 30, 2023 at 6:51 pm

    If I saw Sponge Bob coming at me I’d run.

If this innovation doesn’t pan out I would suggest pumping diesel fuel into the tunnels and lighting them up. Drop leaflets, make broadcasts giving warning to the ‘civilians’ to move away from tunnel exits and/or where munitions are stored. Then move in a deliberate manner N to S.

    DaveGinOly in reply to CommoChief. | October 30, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    Pump in natural gas (without the mercaptan so those in the tunnels can’t smell it’s accumulation). Allow it to find an ignition source, or ignite it intentionally. A gas-enhanced explosion inside a contained space should be monumental.

      CommoChief in reply to DaveGinOly. | October 30, 2023 at 1:31 pm

      Nat gas would work. Though making sure they can smell it seems ok. If they choose to stay down there or scurry out of the tunnels prior to the setting it off then either way it accomplished the goal of clearing the tunnels with as little risk to IDF as possible.

      DSHornet in reply to DaveGinOly. | October 31, 2023 at 9:52 am

      I thought about a fuel-air bomb too, but there is the question of how the tunnels are presently ventilated. If the savages have a way to move air through them, the idea won’t work well if at all because fumes won’t accumulate. But the diesel fuel proposal might simply because the fuel itself is dangerous in several ways. Or gasoline …

      Natural gas only explodes or even burns if ignited at mixtures of 5 to 15%. It’s difficult to get the right mixture ratio unless you have plans of the tunnels detailed enough to estimate the air volume – I doubt that even Hamas has any such documentation – and can cut off the ventilation.

      I think hydrogen has a much wider explosive range. It could be generated on site – fill one truck with powdered zinc, fill a tanker truck with hydrochloric acid, pump the acid into the zinc, and capture the hydrogen that billows out and pump it into the tunnel. But hydrogen is much lighter than air, so getting it to the lower levels of the tunnels would be a problem, as would the hydrogen leaking out and burning your troops above ground. (Natural gas is also lighter than air, although not as much as hydrogen.)

      Perhaps they should use something like nitromethane. It’s liquid at Gaza temperatures, so it can be just poured into the tunnels, and it carries enough oxygen that it can be detonated even without air. Like all liquids, it can be restricted to a limited part of the tunnel with a raised bit of the floor, or trapped in a pit. Some of it would evaporate and float around the tunnels, but I don’t think enough, so if Hamas took the same precautions that the Viet Cong did in their tunnels, you’d only blow up the entrances you found.

      OTOH, after a nitro blast or fire in a tunnel, survivors in the uncollapsed parts of the tunnels would be breathing nitric acid and de-oxygenated air. I’d prefer “humane” instant death through blast effects, followed by burial in a collapsed tunnel, but for mass rapist-murderers, I’ll take suffocation with lungs burned out by acid as a win.

      Or maybe mix gasoline and nitro, preferably using an extremely volatile cold-winter gasoline formulation. Vapors would rise from the gasoline and fill the tunnels, and the nitro would ensure it burned if not detonated. Survivors would still suffocate, I think.

Morning Sunshine | October 30, 2023 at 9:09 am

I have been reading about this “new bomb” in a number of places over the last week. So – here is a question.

Why would Israel – a country whose very existence depends on military intelligence and being one step ahead of her enemies – let it be known that such a bomb exists? And how it is used? And how they will deploy it?

LI have a nasty and aggressive banner ad disrupting my website … experience. Gambling ads. Only place I ever see them is here. Don’t make me lock down your ad revenue. The ads attack both iPad and Kindle Fire. I can lock them out on laptop.

Expansive foam. Kind of a propaganda tool. Pumping anything but concrete into tunnels will look like Jews gassing Arabs.

    GWB in reply to Tiki. | October 30, 2023 at 11:39 am

    Pumping anything but concrete into tunnels will look like Jews gassing Arabs.
    I don’t have a problem with that. Especially if it’s flammable.

      Tiki in reply to GWB. | October 30, 2023 at 12:29 pm

      You’re not a responsible entity.

      Flamethrower are a acceptable option and the most effective way to liquidate tunnel rats. #Okinawa

        CommoChief in reply to Tiki. | October 30, 2023 at 1:39 pm

        Not if you tell those in the tunnels what is gonna happen. Then they can choose to stay down there or come out. If the worry is ‘Hamas is holding ‘civilians’ of Gaza captive in the tunnels as human shields I got responses.
        1. That’s the responsibility of Hamas and no one else.
        2. Doing so is not within the rules so in common parlance it is a deliberate ‘war crime’ by Hamas.
        3. The opposing belligerent (Israel) has zero culpability for the actions of Hamas.

        If these ‘civilians’ choose to stay down there and get incinerated (yes I do include their refusal to overpower the Hamas guards holding them captive) that’s between them and the terrorist organization they chose to elect to govern them.

It’s Great Stuff.

This quote at the end of the article breaks my heart:

“They baked a baby. In an oven.


Say ceasefire one more time, you fucking baby-murdering-loving ghouls.”

After the horrors of the Hamas attack, a bill to support Israel was introduced in Congress and and 16 members would not support it—sixteen! There are 26 Jews in the House who were quick to do nothing, for the bill to support Israel was sponsored by a Catholic from Texas.


Don’t let that pig from Cornell—Russell Rickford—know about this or he will be so exhilarated and energized that they’ll have to use a fire truck extension ladder to get him off cloud nine.

The Duke d’Escargot | October 30, 2023 at 11:30 am

Why don’t they just tunnel down below Gaza City, and blow the place up from below?

Gigantic tunneling machines have been used to tunnel through the Alps, and to tunnel below the Baltic Sea to connect Europe to Sweden.

Doesn’t Elon Musk have a company that does this sort of thing?

    There’s a relatively nearby sea just full of water begging to be pumped into the tunnel system. “Seawater” has yet to be classified by environmentalists as a toxic substance, so its use shouldn’t breach any prohibitions on the use of chemical weapons.

      As for “international law”, I’ve been waiting for a long time for the Israelis to announce they have the same respect for it as the Arab nations displayed for the UN resolution establishing Israel in 1948, and expect no more enforcement against their alleged violations than any country besides themselves provided against that illegal invasion and attempted genocide.

    With every three you buy, you get a dozen free Boring Company flamethrowers!

Much of it stretches under civilian structures, and has exit/entry points in civilian areas.
Which makes it unnecessary for Israel to abide by any sort of avoidance of civilian casualties. Sink the entire place even further below sea level.

Also, I’m a big fan of the Rodenator method. Use a flammable gas that is generally heavier than air; pump it into the tunnels for several minutes; then ignite. Watch for the big shots of flame or dust and debris into the air to find other entrances/exits. Repeat as necessary.

If you have ever worked with the foam used in construction, you know what a mess it is and how it grows rapidly and then hardens. My only concern is that the hostages are most likely being held in the tunnels and that may prove to be a problem. If it is used to block escape routes from the tunnels then it may prove to be useful.

In 1991, just prior to the ground war phase of Desert Shield/Desert Storm, General Norm Schwarzkopf was asked how the U.S. military was going to try and deal with the Iraqi tanks lined up and dug in at their front.

My recollection is that he said something like “Well, if tanks are dug in, then we’ll send in bulldozers and earth movers in order to bury them.”

To which the reporters expressed shock and horror. “How can you plan to kill people in such a cruel way?”

To which he asked whether shooting enemy soldiers, or blowing them up, was any more humane.

That’s what this whole Gaza Hamas situation reminds me of.

    GWB in reply to Yogi. | October 30, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    The Progressive notion that war should somehow be civilized is yet one more point revealing their entire lack of understanding of human nature.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to GWB. | October 30, 2023 at 5:43 pm

      Especially since that “civilized war” will never be use by them against anyone that opposes the Left.

      Subotai Bahadur

MoeHowardwasright | October 30, 2023 at 1:00 pm

There are two ways to handle the tunnels if death and destruction is the path chosen. One is to pump propane in into the tunnel system. Propane is heavier than air and will accumulate along the floor of the tunnel. The explosion and fire ball will be magnified by the enclosed space. Tunnels destroyed and caved in from above. Fireball incinerates everyone in its path. The second choice is to map out the exits and entrances and seal them up with concrete. Either way if the hostages are in the tunnels or not you have to accept their deaths. It’s the only way to destroy Hamas in the Gaza. FJB

    There was an American prisoner-of-war camp located just outside Nagasaki (or maybe it was Hiroshima I don’t remember)

    The U.S. High Command knew this, and accepted that those American men would die

      markm in reply to Spatz. | November 3, 2023 at 1:38 am

      U.S. intelligence figured that the Japanese High Command would order that prisoners of war be killed before our troops could free them. In the Philippines in 1945, at least one successful commando raid was staged to strike ahead of the American lines and rescue prisoners while the prison camp commandant thought there was still a week or two before he had to implement that order.

      This wasn’t much of a factor on other islands we took from because the POW’s had been either evacuated back to Japan or killed long before 1945. Others were in work camps where we did not intend to attack before the war was over, for example, the “Bridge over the River Kwai” railroad construction camps. But in Japan, we wouldn’t get the help from local partisans that was vital in pulling off the Philippines raid, and our commanders had to reckon that the POW’s in Japan were dead men, so no point worrying about bombing hitting the POW camps.

If Hamas spent 1/3 the effort helping their people as they did building tunnels, there would be no problem. But then, if the needs of their people were met, so wouldn’t be so easily aggitated. The real enemy of the Gaza people are Hamas, but they are simply too stupid (or ignorant) to see that.

this sounds better then my choice.

    ConradCA in reply to jqusnr. | October 30, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Explosive gas is a better idea. It should reveal tunnel exits and do a good of killing everything in the tunnels. It would be no best if the gas was colored so they could find and close all the vents and exits to the tunnels.

Why do they have to worry about rules of war with an enemy who choses to violate them?

Talk to a guy who denied the Hamas committed atrocities. There should be a website that shows video evidence of the atrocities committed by Hamas.

    Miguel in reply to ConradCA. | October 30, 2023 at 6:13 pm

    One does exist. I think it’s on Telegram. My apologies, I can’t provide better info

    CommoChief in reply to ConradCA. | October 30, 2023 at 7:25 pm

    They don’t. Hamas, including the pseudo gov’t, is a terrorist organization. Terrorist organizations are unlawful combatants by definition. The ‘rules’ don’t apply to unlawful combatants. Basically they are modern equivalent of Pirates who exist outside the laws of Civilization; which means they have no claims upon the rules. In any event the ‘rules’ create a reciprocal duty among the signatory belligerent Nations in a conflict. Hamas isn’t a signatory. Israel can voluntarily apply the ‘rules’ if they chose to do so but have no duty to do so.

    Milhouse in reply to ConradCA. | October 31, 2023 at 1:18 am

    The rules protecting civilians still apply. They aren’t the enemy, so the fact that the enemy is fighting illegally doesn’t change their status.

    Where it matters that Hamas is fighting illegally is that, like the prisoners the USA kept at Guantanamo Bay, its prisoners are not entitled to the Geneva Convention’s protections.