NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Israel is moving ahead with its plan to launch a ground assault in the Gaza Strip. The decision regarding the timing of the ground assault to “eradicate” Hamas and rescue the captives would be determined by the war cabinet and the military, he said.
But with an invasion now appearing imminent, Israeli troops have already starting “preparing the battlefield”.
Israeli troops and tanks launched a brief ground raid into northern Gaza overnight into Thursday, the military said, striking several militant targets.The preparation comes ahead of a widely expected ground invasion after more than two weeks of devastating air raids.
On October 7, a large number of Hamas militants attacked Israel from Gaza, resulting in the death of 1,400 individuals, primarily civilians. Additionally, 222 were abducted, as per official records.
The ongoing Israeli aerial attacks are believed to have killed thousands in Gaza, with casualties expected to rise if the amassed Israeli forces around Gaza initiate a ground invasion.

Israel begins ground offense against Hamas in northern Gaza as the war enters day 20, strike numerous terrorist cells

US President Joe Biden and other global leaders have publicly urged Israel to safeguard innocent lives and adhere to wartime laws while targeting Hamas. Biden has also privately advised Israel to attempt to rescue hostages before any ground assault.
Meanwhile, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, in the arid plains of southern Israel, a significant military exercise is underway. The Israeli military has constructed a mock Palestinian village, aptly named “Little Gaza,” in the Negev Desert. This facility serves as a training ground for Israeli soldiers, preparing them for potential combat scenarios in the narrow streets and intricate tunnel systems that characterize the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s New Warfare Tactic: Israeli flyers dropped on Gaza offer cash for intel on hostages

Recently, a group of soldiers participated in a drill simulating an invasion of the village. As they navigated the maze-like streets, they encountered structures reminiscent of the real Gaza: mosques with towering minarets, white houses adorned with graffiti, and simulated civilians. Their adversaries in this exercise were individuals dressed as Hamas militants. The soldiers practiced various combat techniques, from identifying and neutralizing threats to evacuating injured comrades.
“Little Gaza” is a testament to the Israeli military’s preparation for urban warfare. Established in 2006, this facility, officially known as the Urban Training Center, is equipped with 600 structures designed to replicate the urban environment of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Defense Forces also have a similar facility that simulates a Lebanese town, the report said.
Adjacent to “Little Gaza” is a base housing thousands of reservists, including paratroopers, tanks, infantry, and other regular army units. Urban warfare is notoriously challenging, and Gaza, with its intricate tunnel systems and urban landscape, presents unique challenges.
Hamas fighters are known to possess advanced weaponry and have developed an extensive tunnel network, dubbed the “Gaza Metro.” This network spans approximately 500 miles, with some tunnels reaching depths of over 200 feet, designed to shelter militants for extended periods.
The situation is further complicated by the presence of hostages in Gaza, taken during the October 7th attacks.
According to military officials, to effectively counteract Hamas’s capabilities, a physical presence in Gaza is essential. They highlighted that weapon storage and equipment are concealed throughout the territory, including in subterranean tunnels.
“There are many, many challenges for our soldiers there,” Yotam Burstein, an officer, told the WSJ. Burstein admitted there was a risk that many Israeli troops would lose their lives. “Some of my best friends are here,” he said.
“We will never be able to prevent another attack such as this, or even worse, if there is an army on our borders. So, we have no choice but to make war today in order to defend ourselves,” a military official at Division 252 told the WSJ.
(With inputs from agencies)
Watch Hamas and Israeli troops clash in Gaza ahead of war’s ‘next phase’: IDF confirms death of one soldier

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *