Israel Warns The War In Gaza To Last Through End Of 2024

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 30, 2024 - 02:40 AM

Israel is warning that its military operation in Gaza will continue through at least the end of the year, in an assessment which is sure to shock and anger the growing chorus of international critics and countries.

Israel’s national security adviser and top Netanyahu aide Tzachi Hanegbi stated Wednesday: "We are now in the fifth month of 2024, which means we expect another seven months of fighting to deepen our achievements and achieve our goal of destroying the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad."

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The same official stressed that the war cabinet had defined 2024 as "a year of combat" in the wake of the Oct.7 terror attack by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israeli officials have long signaled that the big Rafah incursion is expected to be the last major offensive of the conflict, but since then Hamas has reappeared in places in northern and central Gaza where it had previously been defeated.

Hanegbi's fresh assessment strongly suggests that Rafah will not be the end, despite Prime Minister Netanyahu having previously portrayed Rafah as the "last bastion" of the fight. But the Israeli leader has also vowed that Israeli forces won't stop until Hamas is fully eradicated.

This is proving easier said than done - as the combat conditions throughout Gaza are akin to the grinding urban fighting US Marines faced in Fallujah or Mosul - and probably worse.

When the United States has faced an insurgency, in Iraq or Afghanistan for example, it led to many years of fighting and a seemingly endless unstable occupation.

There's also the difficult reality of the tunnels. By some estimates, all combined there is a vast system of literally hundreds of miles of tunnels running under the Gaza Strip. Hamas militants have become experts as utilizing the tunnels to employ rapid hit and run guerilla tactics.

Given that often ambushes against the Israel Defense Forces are conducted in small teams, typically of 3 or 5 Hamas fighters, the group is often able to inflict damage while mitigating the number and rate of its losses.

AJ: Officially reported figures from each side...

There continue to be thousands of Hamas militants in the tunnels, settled in and ready to conduct a long insurgency, and amid a dense civilian population. For this reason, some analysts see Israel in a bit of a lose-lose situation. Hamas can hide out, strike convoys, and bleed Israeli forces slowly.

Meanwhile the rising civilian death toll will continue to put immense political pressure on the Netanyahu government. The 'cost' in blood and treasure will also drive bigger and more consequential protests domestically, which have already been running hot in places like Tel Aviv and in front of the Knesset.