Israel has assembled a large system of pumps that may be used to flood tunnels used by militant group Hamas under the Gaza strip in a bid to drive out fighters, the Wall Street Journal said, citing US officials, Report informs via Reuters.

Around the middle of November, Israel’s army completed the set-up of at least five pumps about a mile north of the Al-Shati refugee camp that could move thousands of cubic meters of water per hour, flooding the tunnels within weeks, the report said.

It was not clear whether Israel would consider using the pumps before all hostages were released, according to the story. Hamas has previously said it has hidden captives in “safe places and tunnels.”

When asked about the story, a US official said it made sense for Israel to render the tunnels inoperable and that the country was exploring a range of ways to do that.

The Wall Street Journal said an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) official declined to comment on the flooding plan but was quoted as saying: “The IDF is operating to dismantle Hamas’s terror capabilities in various ways, using different military and technological tools.”