Israel’s Tactical Shift in Gaza: A ground invasion on its way

By Elijah J. Magnier:

In the ever-evolving landscape of the Gaza conflict, Israel’s military strategy is undergoing a significant shift. Currently, the Israeli Army is concentrating its efforts on the more vulnerable regions of Gaza City, particularly the northeast and northwest sectors. These areas, which are narrower than the wider Gaza Strip, are witnessing a concentrated push by the invaders.

The Israeli military is advancing on three main fronts: the coastal axis, Beit Hanoun-Beit Lahya and Jabalya. The overall aim appears to be to split Gaza in two, effectively separating the northern areas from the south. This move comes after the Israeli Army moved away from its initial fire and manoeuvre tactics and widened the advance into an invasion through several axes.

Now, the Israeli Army is adopting a more integrated approach of various means and units. Bulldozers pave the way, clearing routes and removing obstacles. Artillery units provide heavy firepower, softening pockets of resistance and creating a protective umbrella for advancing troops. Tanks, with their mix of mobility and firepower, spearhead the advance into these areas. Throughout, the Israeli Air Force provides air support, offering both reconnaissance and strike capabilities. At the same time, the ground Special Forces spot and designate targets for air attacks, relying on air power to clear the road. This 

This is precisely what happened in the densely-populated Jabalya camp, where the Israeli air force dropped six thermobaric bombs, destroying an entire neighbourhood and killing and wounding over 200 people.

But the pressing question remains: Can Israel sustain a permanent presence in these areas? The challenge is not only to capture these areas but to consolidate their hold and ensure they stay isolated from the wider Gaza Strip. Given the resilience and adaptability of the Palestinian factions, the Israeli Army’s task is daunting. Only time will tell whether Israel’s current strategy will yield the desired results or whether it will require yet another tactical shift in this protracted conflict.

Israel’s path of destruction in Gaza: A Report from the Field

In its relentless advance into the Gaza Strip, Israel is leaving a trail of destruction. Buildings that once stood tall now lie in ruins. The aftermath of Israel’s intense bombardment 25 days ago has left such widespread destruction that it’s hampering the advance of its armoured brigade. Bulldozers are now on the front line, clearing paths through the rubble to facilitate the movement of military vehicles.

The three main routes of the Israeli incursion are characterised by wide open spaces, ranging from one to four kilometres, before reaching the first residential areas. It’s worth noting that most of these houses have been deserted since Israel declared war on Gaza. However, despite the apparent absence of civilians, Israeli artillery continued its barrage, causing significant casualties in the targeted areas.

Fierce fighting occurs on the front lines, particularly in the Beit Hanoun and Jabalia camps and in Wadi Gaza, dividing the north from the south. In an attempt to minimise its casualties, the Israeli military has adopted a heavy-handed approach. This includes the controversial use of phosphorus bombs, which are internationally banned due to their devastating and long-lasting effects on both humans and the environment.

Despite its superior firepower and tactics, the Israeli advance has faced fierce resistance. Palestinian factions are engaging the invading forces, determined to halt their progress. The response of the resistance has been formidable, challenging the Israeli Army every step of the way and preventing them from making comfortable inroads into the area.

Given the intensity of the counter-attacks and the scale of the destruction, Israel’s progress can be described as cautious at best. The overwhelming firepower it faces is a testament to the resilience and determination of the Palestinian resistance, even in the face of overwhelming odds.

Israel’s military incursion into Gaza: A Question of Duration and Intent

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.