The Gaza Quagmire: Media and Psychological Warfare and Netanyahu’s Leadership Under the Microscope

By Elijah J. Magnier:

The unfolding situation in Gaza is a testament to the complexities of modern warfare and the indomitable spirit of Resistance. Israel’s ground offensive, diplomatically termed a “ground operation”, is undeniably progressing, especially on the Gaza City front. However, the tactics used reveal a deeper strategic intention.

In a calculated move, Israeli tanks are actively trying to divide Gaza. Their operations in the Al-Zaytoun neighbourhood, Hay al-Tuffah and Hay al-Shujaiya (North of Gaza) aim to break the link between the northern and southern parts of the city. At the same time, their presence in the Shujaiya neighbourhood is marked by continuous manoeuvres and targeted bombardments, signalling their intention to enter these areas on foot.

The strategy goes beyond mere territorial gains. By targeting both partially populated and deserted areas, Israel is trying to pave a smoother path for its ground forces as they advance towards Salah al-Din Street, which bisects the city from north to south. The aim is to isolate certain parts of the town, effectively splitting it. This tactic is driven by the daunting challenge of occupying the entirety of Gaza City. This task is not only logistically challenging but also needs a clear and feasible timeline and plan for future governance. Israel is far from being ready for a similar plan.

Yet, amid this military onslaught, the Palestinian Resistance has carried out operations that have profoundly affected Israeli morale. Its resilience and determination are a stark counterpoint to Israel’s military might, underscoring the age-old adage that the human spirit can often triumph over overwhelming odds.

In the constantly evolving theatre of war in Gaza, the Palestinian Resistance has demonstrated a level of tactical ingenuity that has kept Israeli forces on their toes. As Israel’s mechanised units have advanced, the Resistance has strategically divided the city into several defensive sectors, not only preparing for the mechanised onslaught but also anticipating the ground advance of Israeli infantry.

A remarkable operation by the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, is a testament to this tactical skill. Last Sunday night, they launched a surprise attack on Israeli positions at the Erez crossing. Emerging from tunnels, they targeted an area where Israeli military vehicles and tanks were stationed just behind the Gaza fence. This brazen move not only inflicted damage but also shattered Israel’s claim to have neutralised the tunnel threat. It sent a clear message: the areas around Gaza that had previously been considered safe zones were anything but.

The implications of this operation are profound. Israel’s narrative of security and dominance has been challenged. The very fact that Palestinian Resistance can emerge from undiscovered tunnels and strike at the heart of Israeli military concentrations 24 days after the 7 October attack undermines the security Israel has sought to provide its settlers.

The question now looms large: Can Israel guarantee the safety of the settlers in the towns and villages that make up the Gaza Strip envelop? Recent operations by the Palestinian Resistance suggest otherwise. As long as the Resistance can operate from undetected tunnels and launch surprise attacks, the promise of security and protection for Israeli settlers remains in doubt. This evolving dynamic underscores the challenges Israel faces in its campaign and the resilience and resourcefulness of the Palestinian Resistance.

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