The Israeli War Council announcedIn a press conference on the evening of Saturday, November 18, the transition to the second phase of ground operations in Gaza, and in this context, the Council’s statement affirmed “their continuation until victory is achieved and the kidnapped are returned,” in reference to the occupation prisoners held by the resistance movements in Gaza. . In turn, occupation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that the war will continue until its three main goals are achieved, which are “the decisive victory and elimination of Hamas, the return of the kidnapped (prisoners), and ensuring that Gaza will not pose a threat to Israel.”
But did the Israeli occupation succeed at all in achieving progress in these goals during what was called the “first phase”? This is an important question, especially since this is not the first time we have heard the term “second phase.” It has been said before that the “ground invasion” of Gaza is a second phase of the war after the first phase, which was the aerial bombardment. The Israeli occupation tried to enter Gaza from more than one location. He failed in some attempts before shifting his focus to a plan based on penetrating Gaza from the middle and the north in order to encircle the northern part of the Strip.
This brings us back to the first goal of the occupation, which is to eliminate Hamas, and the media releases that come out every day from the Al-Qassam Brigades, documented with video clips, can confirm to us that the Israeli occupation has not been able to even come close to achieving this goal, as the resistance soldiers are still inflicting fate every day. The Israeli occupation forces suffered significant losses in the vicinity of northern Gaza.
In fact, the scale of the strikes received by the occupation army is unprecedented if we compare it to previous wars on Gaza, where the occupation has lost about two hundred military vehicles so far, and this is a huge number, in addition, of course, to dozens of dead soldiers (only announced).
We can notice a few final changes to show us how harsh the war on Gaza was on the Israelis. The first of these changes is the use of the Eitan personnel carrier to work alongside Israeli armored vehicles such as the Nimr. The Eitan is an armored fighting vehicle used by the Israeli occupation army, and is based on the technologies used in a series of tanks. Merkava and Tiger armored infantry fighting vehicles, a newly developed version used for the first time.
However, despite this, the Eitan is an 8-wheeled vehicle that is much lighter (1) than the Nimr, and is consequently cheaper than it in cost by a large margin. It may have been used due to the high cost of using the Nimr and its destruction by the resistance forces at unprecedentedly high rates, which put pressure on the cost of the war. In Gaza, he threatened a major problem soon.
This is also evident in the Israeli government’s requests from the Biden administration for additional supplies of ammunition (2), including 57,000 units of 155 mm artillery shells, a hollow steel projectile filled with a high explosive, along with tens of thousands of rounds for Apache helicopter guns and Hellfire missiles. Drones, bunker-buster munitions, mortar shells, etc.
This means that the occupation may have begun to exhaust its current arsenal of ammunition and began to request supplies from the United States. This is largely expected, as the occupation began its war on Gaza with excessive use of firepower, and with the passage of time and the increase of resistance, it began to struggle to provide the necessary supplies for the war.
All this and we have not yet talked about the goal of recovering prisoners, in which the occupation has not achieved significant progress, and the final goal related to ensuring that Gaza does not represent a threat to Israel, which means controlling every place that the occupation invades, but when we consider what the occupation army achieved in Gaza, we find that it did not succeed. In control only a narrow strip surrounding northern Gaza, about 25 kilometers long and only one to two kilometers thick, and even in some areas of this strip, the resistance is actually able to push the occupation forces back.
Failed all three goals?
There are several possible reasons for this failure, including that the more Israeli forces enter dense urban areas, the slower their advance, because the cement blocks of homes are considered strong defensive points that the resistance fighters rely on to inflict the greatest amount of losses on the occupying force. In addition, the Palestinian resistance possesses new types. The equipment is relatively cheap compared to the Israeli army’s vehicles, but it is capable of achieving a balance between the two forces with the best use of urban terrain.
We are talking here in particular about the “Al-Yassin 105” missiles, to which we devoted a previous report, and its anti-fortified version, “Al-Yassin TBG”. The Al-Qassam Brigades recently used 12 of them to finish off an Israeli force holed up inside a building in Beit Hanoun. The missiles work in the same way, as they consist of Two consecutive explosive charges, the first weakening the cement fortification and the second penetrating it to destroy what is inside.
– Al Jazeera Palestine (@AJA_Palestine) November 6, 2023
What has the Israeli occupation achieved in the first phase so far to move to the second phase? This is a question to which we do not have an answer. We know that the battle is still ongoing along the Gaza penetration line, and that the occupation forces are advancing slowly. In addition, there is no data on “major” discoveries of the tunnel network, which is one of the most important weapons of the resistance, as it represents For soldiers, it is a location for hiding, storing equipment, carrying out surprise strikes, and breaking through the siege around the northern Gaza Strip. For the occupation, it represents an important strategic goal.
In addition, the occupation’s claims that there is a huge command center containing prisoners below Al-Shifa Hospital have been proven false. Not to mention the politically sensitive issue of prisoners, and we do not know in reality what Israel means by “liberating the hostages” if it is striking Gaza day after day with tons of missiles that kill defenseless civilians, along with the prisoners of the occupation, and it has Al-Qassam Brigades announced 50 of its detainees were killed due to the bombing of Gaza, and that was in the last week of October.
Hamas had previously announced its capture of between 200-250 Israelis and others of other nationalities. This means the loss of only a quarter to a fifth of the prisoners after nearly two weeks since the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. How many prisoners will the occupation return after this brutal, random battle? The Israeli interior is asking the same question, and there are currently two warring camps, one of which believes that it is not possible to “save the prisoners” in an operation of this cruelty.
Is it just a hoax?
What are the details and features of the second phase of the Israeli attack then? We do not know in reality, and the Israelis did not announce anything about it, but here are two possible analyzes of that announcement. The first is that the occupation means that it has completed the encirclement of the northern Gaza Strip and is now preparing to enter more densely populated areas. The second is that it is preparing to head south, to follow the rest of the Qassam forces. We know that it amounts to about 50 thousand soldiers, distributed in a system of regions and brigades. Each region has a brigade and has a commander who is responsible for it and follows up on its affairs.
But in both cases, what appears to us is that Israel has not achieved any progress with which it can claim to have completed the “first phase of the war.” Note that we are not talking about a regular war between two equal teams, each of which possesses approximately the same equipment and who stand facing each other on the battlefield. Rather, it is an irregular war with unequal forces. However, the weakest force in terms of equipment (which is the resistance here) can create a specific balance with a specific battle and a specific geographical location.
What is important is that in the context of a war of this type, time plays a very important role that many do not realize, because prolonging the operation for the occupation means the decline of its media narrative, and the cessation of the state’s economy, whether due to the withdrawal of multinational companies or the use of a significant portion of citizens in the military operation, and directing… More resources and money for military action.
In addition, time (3) plays an important role in igniting the emerging political dispute between Israel and its allies. The United States, for example, is pressuring the occupying state to complete the mission in weeks, while the occupation says that the process will require at least months. In fact, we assume that inventing a term “Phase Two” may have been for this reason: to lull allies in the United States into thinking that “we have succeeded at one thing, but there is something longer that we are now starting to implement.”
In this context, war is generally a mixture of the physical and the psychological, and is not just confrontations with equipment (this is one of the reasons for calling it asymmetrical warfare or irregular war). Here, for example, we find superiority for the owners of the land among the weak forces in terms of equipment, in areas other than equipment, where they tend to To have a high morale and prepare for the utmost risks, to the point of turning the unthinkable into a possibility, as we see in the incidents of individual engagement with a tank or armored vehicle from zero distance, or going out in the open in traditional clothing to hunt enemy soldiers.
Here in particular, we can say that the resistance achieves victory even if the occupation advances relatively in the Gaza territories, as it does not allow the enemy to pass easily, and uses the equipment it possesses with extreme professionalism that has appeared since the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation, during which the resistance did not use combat tools or weapons. Advanced rewards your scores, but only a bunch of parachutes, scooters and boats along with cheap cannons and small arms.
But the reason for the victory was not the tools, but rather the exploitation of those tools to create an innovative tactic that no one had thought of before (4), and this is what is currently happening in the heart of the battle. This is precisely what you see in the scene of a young man in home clothes holding an RPG and standing At a distance of less than 40 meters, he takes an excellent side position from a multi-million dollar tank and hits it precisely in a fatal spot.
- 1- Eitan Armored personnel carrier
- 2- US Is Quietly Sending Israel More Ammunition, Missiles
- 3- Irregular War: A New Challenge For Regular Armies – Journal of Legal and Political Sciences Volume 11, Numéro 2, Pages 454-475 09-28-2020
- 4- Special Operations from a Small State Perspective Future Security Challenges : Gunilla Eriksson, Ulrica Pettersson