The planned Israeli invasion of Gaza has been postponed. Reportedly, inclement weather is set to hit the area, making it difficult for Israel’s air force to conduct its operations. The expected land invasion is still a go, set to be executed within the coming days involving tens of thousands of soldiers. This operation comes after the heinous and barbaric October 7 attacks, where 1,000 Hamas terrorists invaded Israel by land, sea, and air.
There are endless reports of murder, rape, and kidnappings at the hands of Hamas, with disturbing accounts of babies being beheaded and burned. Whole families were wiped out. More than 1,200 Israelis were killed; not since the days of the Holocaust have so many Jews been murdered in a day. The newly formed unity government declared war, the first since 1973, and hundreds of thousands of reservists have been mobilized.
Around 360,000 Israeli troops are amassing near Gaza, along with heavy equipment and tanks. The goal is to eliminate Hamas’ political and military apparatus in Gaza, and Israeli forces will remain until the job is completed. This ground war will be the largest since Israel invaded Lebanon in 2006 after Hezbollah launched rocket attacks and kidnapped IDF soldiers.
Reportedly, 40,000 Hamas terrorists are waiting for the Israeli onslaught, which means this Gaza invasion could last weeks, if not months, with heavy urban fighting. Israel has the edge, but this isn’t going to be a cakewalk, as they learned from their 2006 Lebanon excursion (via NYT):
The Israeli military is preparing to invade the Gaza Strip in the coming days with tens of thousands of soldiers ordered to capture Gaza City and destroy the enclave’s current leadership, according to three senior Israeli military officers who outlined unclassified details about the plan.
The operation risks locking Israel into months of bloody urban combat, both above ground and in a warren of tunnels — a fraught offensive that Israel has long avoided because it involves fighting in a narrow and tightly packed sliver of land populated by more than 2 million people. Israeli officials have warned that Hamas could kill Israeli hostages, use Palestinian noncombatants as human shields, and have strewn the territory with booby traps.
It remains uncertain what Israel will do with Gaza City, Hamas’s stronghold and the enclave’s largest urban center, if it captures it, or what exactly Israeli officials mean when they describe the destruction of Hamas’s leadership. Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, is a large social movement as well as a militia that is deeply embedded within Gazan society.
It is also unclear whether Hezbollah, the larger, Iran-backed Lebanese militia that is allied with Hamas and possesses a vast array of precision-guided missiles and ground forces, might respond to an invasion of Gaza by opening up a second front with Israel along the Lebanese border.
Tens of thousands of Hamas gunmen are thought to have entrenched themselves inside hundreds of miles of underground tunnels and bunkers beneath Gaza City and the surrounding parts of northern Gaza. Israeli military leaders expect that Hamas will attempt to impede their progress by blowing up some of those tunnels as Israelis advance above them, and by exploding roadside bombs and booby-trapping buildings.
Hamas also plans to ambush Israeli forces from behind by emerging suddenly from hidden tunnel openings dotted across northern Gaza, according to a Hamas officer who was not authorized to speak to the news media.
To make it easier for its soldiers to operate, the Israeli military’s rules of engagement have been loosened to allow soldiers to make fewer checks before shooting at suspected enemies, the three Israeli officers said, without giving further details.
The invasion was initially planned for the weekend, but was delayed by a few days at least in part because of cloudy conditions that would have made it harder for Israeli pilots and drone operators to provide ground forces with air cover, the officers said.
What happens afterward is anyone’s guess. Israel might not want to keep an occupation force in an area where 2 million inhabitants hate their guts. And the Palestinian Authority has been a feckless governing body for years. The main goal, for now, is to excise Hamas from Gaza, which will start once the weather clears up.