Tel Aviv has imposed another full blockade of the Gaza Strip and is reportedly fixing to launch a large-scale land operation against Hamas. Prior to launching a ground operation, Tel Aviv imposed a full blockade of the Gaza Strip.
In general, the region has been under blockade for 16 years which was imposed by Israel to curb the delivery of weapons to Palestinian militant groups. Now, the region has been cut off from electricity, water and fuel supplies.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told US President Joe Biden that Tel Aviv has no other alternative but to start another ground operation in the Gaza Strip, as the US Navy was already on its way to replenish the Apartheid State with arms and ammo.
Gaza is a Palestinian enclave on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea which borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the east and north. The Gaza Strip is 41 km long, and is up to 12 km wide, occupying a total area of 365 square kilometers.
The predominantly Arab population of the region amounts to around two million people. Together, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are under the so-called Palestinian Authority (PA).
Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has remained under the control of Hamas and its liberation wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Lyamin believes that Tel Aviv’s operation won’t be quick and smooth, because the Gaza Strip is a very difficult battlefield for an offensive.
To conduct battles in dense urban areas, one needs a lot of troops, according to Lyamin.
One needs to bear in mind that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) would be confronted there not just by Hamas, but also the Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and smaller militias totaling several tens of thousands of liberation fighters.
Dense urban development and underground communications largely neutralize the advantage of the Israeli Army’s aviation, armored vehicles and artillery.
Now they are destroying high-rise buildings, bombing them and so on, but they are not completely destroyed. Underground structures that always exist under large buildings stay intact.
They actually seem to create unique places for defense, for organizing ambushes and other things. Accordingly, it is very difficult to conduct an offensive and control the situation in such conditions.
Lyamin has drawn parallels between Israel’s potential ground offensive and battles for Mariupol and Artemovsk (Bakhmut) – the latter lasted for 224 days – during Russia’s special military operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine.
The latter fierce battle was later dubbed in the press as the Bakhmut meat grinder.
Israel has avoided large-scale urban operations for many years. The military expert noted that previously the IDF avoided entering Gaza. If the Israeli military did, these were very limited, targeted operations, precisely to avoid the scenario of large-scale urban fighting.
The Israeli Ground Forces, which include infantry, armored and artillery corps, number around 126,000 active personnel and about 400,000 reservists. Major General Yoel Strick is currently at the helm of the ground forces.
These troops took part in all the major military operations conducted by Israel, among them the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the 1956 Suez Crisis, and the 1967 Six-Day War, also currently being involved in the current Hamas-Israel armed conflict.
The ground forces use several domestically-developed technologies, such as the Merkava main battle tank, the Achzarit armored personnel carrier, and the Iron Dome missile defense system.
The Israel Air Force’s (IAF) size is about 34,000 active personnel, plus 55,000 reservists. In all, 684 aircraft are reportedly in service.
Like the ground forces, the IAF partook in many military operations, such as the 2006 Lebanon War. The current IAF commander is Aluf Tomer Bar.
Since the 1967 Six-Day War, most of the IDF’s warplanes have been received from the US, including the A-4 Skyhawk, the F-4 Phantom II, the F-15 Eagle, the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II.
The Israeli Navy, which comprises approximately 9,500 active personnel and 10,000 reservists, is commanded by Aluf David Sa’ar Salama.
The force numbers seven corvettes, eight missile boats, five submarines (Dolphin class), 45 patrol boats and two support ships.
Major military operations in which the Israeli Navy was involved include the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, the 1973 Battle of Baltim and the 2006 Lebanon War. Israel’s draft requirement applies to any citizen or permanent resident who has reached the age of 18.
Various sources put Israel’s mobilization base at about 3.11 million people, including 2.55 million fit for military service.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.