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The IDF has returned to full force manoeuvring

IDF in Gaza

In the past week, against the backdrop of the collapse of the negotiations for the release of the hostages, Israel resumed its activities in all parts of the Gaza Strip, from north to south, and from the Erez Crossing to the Rafah Crossing. This is happening after a period of about a month, when there was only one brigade in the Gaza Strip (the Nahal Brigade in the area of the Netzarim corridor), and it already seemed that the war was on the verge of ending, and that Israel could not return with full force against Hamas; but here, the IDF proves again that it can resume maneuvering and aggressive operations even after long breaks.

The most prominent activity is taking place in the southern Gaza Strip, where armoured forces of the 401st Brigade took control of the Rafah crossing without much difficulty, and thus (partially) cut off Hamas’s route of rearming. The tanks continue to operate in the southeast part of Rafah, together with infantry forces, while temporarily avoiding entry into the city. Such an entry would draw (and Is already drawing) harsh international criticism, and recently the United States has offered Israel a “carrot and a stick”: On the one hand, a threat of stopping the supply of offensive weapons if Israel enters Rafah; on the other hand, a promise of extensive intelligence assistance if it avoids such an action.

In the Center of the Gaza Strip, reserve brigades entered the Netzarim corridor, and the Nahal Brigade launched an attack in the Zaytun neighborhood in order to harm the attempts to re-establish Hamas in the central area of Gaza City. The activity so far has been successful, but the cost is not light – four soldiers were killed in an explosion on Friday, and this morning the fall of another soldier was known to the public – Ariel Zim of Modi’in, who fell in a clash outside a school where many terrorists were hiding.

The latest activity is currently taking place in the northern Gaza Strip, when IDF forces began operating in the Jabaliya refugee camp area, the main population center north of Gaza City, known as a strong Hamas foothold. The scope and intensity of the operation have not yet been fully revealed, but according to the impression obtained from the IDF’s evacuation notices, and based on the size of the refugee camp, it can be estimated that this is an operation of more than one brigade.

The current actions serve not tactical purposes, but large scale strategies – weakening Hamas’ hold on the Gaza Strip and denying its government’s ability. It is important to remember that the “total victory” will not be achieved when every Hamas operative is killed, but when Hamas no longer controls Gaza and cannot use its resources and people to its advantage.

To respond – rxpuyhi@gmail.com

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