An Israeli ground operation continues in the Gaza Strip with the aim of neutralizing Hamas and rescuing hostages. However, according to analysts, these are tasks with conflicting procedures. In addition, troops may face strong resistance in case of urban fighting.
An Israeli soldier near a tank near the border of the Gaza Strip
| Photo: AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg
Ground offensive in The Gaza Strip has been running since Friday, October 27. So far, there have been several skirmishes, which according to analysts contacted by The Guardian, occurred over strategic positions. It was also possible to see Israeli tanks approaching Gaza City. Based on available sources, experts believe that Israeli forces are now trying to encircle the metropolis in order to subsequently try to capture it. The movement of units is noticeable from three directions in the north and south.
Experts agreed that if the battles moved to the city, the defenders would have certain advantages. The destroyed surrounding landscape will help them with an overview of the movement of the Israeli army, and they can also use the ingenious network of tunnels under the city.
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Perhaps the battle for Gaza could thus be the most dangerous phase waras the situation can also be complicated by civilians, who decide to stay in urban development. In it, there are civil and military objects Hamas they are often found next to each other or intermingle. According to Israel, for example, the headquarters of the terrorist movement are built under hospitals, or under the overcrowded Dar al-Šifa medical facility, where, according to doctors, approximately 19,000 injured people are currently located and another 14,000 people are seeking refuge here. However, Hamas rejects these claims.
Experts agree that even these places will eventually become part of hard battles. According to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the destruction of urban areas will be almost inevitable.
The missions of Israel do not merge in execution
After the ground operation began, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that the goal of the invasion was to destroy Hamas and liberate hostage. According to Ben Barry, an analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, these are conflicting ambitions.
The first task mentioned above means an aggressive attack with the deployment of all forces and with minimal consideration of collateral losses, including the necessity to mine or close the so-called metro Gaza. In contrast, liberation hostages it requires a more deliberate approach suitable for smaller specialized rescue teams that can locate and rescue over two hundred people.
“You would need accurate intelligence on where he is and above all to be careful,” Barry told The Guardian.
End of hope. It is already known how it was with the kidnapped German woman:
The German woman whose body Hamas gunmen drove across Gaza is dead. A skull was found
The reaction of Hamas will also be important. Although its military capabilities are unclear, according to conventional Israeli measurements, the terrorist movement has about 30,000 fighters. It cannot then be determined how effective the shelling was in reducing resistance. Experts said that if Palestinians remain cohesive, they can inflict significant losses on the Israelis. Alternatively, they may retreat south along with hostagesthereby getting out of the stranglehold they face in Gaza.
Analysts cannot determine other possible conclusions, as it is currently difficult to obtain accurate data on the progress of the fighting, or to verify it independently.