On the morning of October 14, local time, the Israel Defense Forces issued a notice stating that residents in the northern Gaza Strip should leave through the “evacuation corridor” between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. that day. Previously, the Israeli army had notified the United Nations that more than one million Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip should be relocated to southern Gaza within 24 hours.
The day before, United Nations Secretary-General Guterres warned before participating in the Security Council’s closed-door consultation on the Palestinian-Israeli situation that more than 1 million residents would be relocated from a completely besieged and densely populated war zone to an area without food, drinking water and housing. is “extremely dangerous” and in some cases even “impossible”.
According to Israeli media reports, Israeli infantry units and tanks entered the Gaza Strip on the 13th to conduct “local attacks” with the purpose of clearing “hostile armed personnel” in the area and searching for missing Israelis. That night, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered a speech, saying, “The Israeli army is attacking Hamas fiercely, and this is just the beginning.” Israeli Defense Minister Galante also said that the Israeli military will not give up until Hamas is completely eliminated.
As Israeli ground forces entered the Gaza Strip, the number of casualties on both sides increased further. On the 14th, after a week of air strikes and shelling against the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Gaza Strip, this round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict entered its eighth day. Israel has counted more than 1,300 deaths, while the death toll in Gaza has soared rapidly. According to statistics from the Palestinian Ministry of Health on Friday, at least 1,900 people were killed and more than 7,600 injured in Gaza.
War Cabinet established
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) was able to successfully attack Israel this time and cause heavy casualties. The mistakes of the Israeli intelligence agencies cannot be exempted from the blame. The Israeli people believe that the Netanyahu government should bear the main responsibility for causing extreme divisions in the country.
At a time when the country’s survival was at stake, Netanyahu extended invitations to all opposition parties, and eventually formed a wartime coalition government with Unity Party leader Gantz, the 38th government after the founding of the state of Israel, and established a wartime coalition government. The cabinet formed the largest unified front to win the war and overcome the national dilemma.
The main members of this wartime cabinet are Netanyahu, Gantz and current Defense Minister Galante. Netanyahu also left a position open for his top opposition leader Lapid, but the latter did not officially join. In addition to the three cabinet members, there are also two observers, namely former Chief of General Staff Eisenkot and Minister of Strategic Affairs Demer.
On the 12th, the Israeli Knesset approved the decision to form a war cabinet in an emergency meeting by 66 votes in favor and 4 against, and also approved the appointment of the new health minister by 65 votes in favor and 0 against. Netanyahu thanked Congress for its trust and said all parties had put aside their differences and disputes and would work together to get the country through this difficult time.
The War Cabinet also stated that during the war, neither Congress nor the government would pass any bill unrelated to the war. This means that the judicial reform that has been strongly opposed by the public since the beginning of this year will be temporarily shelved. All government officials at ministerial level or above will Term will be automatically extended.
It is worth noting that all the far-right parties in Netanyahu’s coalition government have also stayed in the new government, including far-right representative Gerver who has no security background but was forcibly appointed as the minister of national security. This political form giving way to professional personnel appointments is likely to directly lead to Israel’s intelligence misjudgment, so this new government is likely to only exist for a few months. Once the power of Hamas is completely controlled and the conflict no longer expands, the interim cabinet will be quickly dissolved, accountability for intelligence failures will begin, and the Israeli political situation will be reshuffled.
The test of ground combat
After being attacked by Hamas in the early morning of the 7th, the Israel Defense Forces took less than 48 hours to complete the assembly of approximately 300,000 reserve troops. Together with the 126,000 active army troops, Israel has achieved a three-dimensional siege of Gaza by land, sea and air.
Starting from the 11th, the Qassam Brigade under Hamas and the Quds Brigade under the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Jihad) still fired a small number of rockets into southern and central Israel, once again demonstrating their determination to fight Israel to the death. . The Qassan Brigade claimed to have launched rockets at Haifa and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, 100 kilometers away from Gaza, causing all flight takeoffs and landings in Tel Aviv to be suspended that day.
The Israel Defense Forces, which had completed its assembly, did not immediately march into Gaza and continue to besiege Gaza for four days without attacking. Instead, they continued to use air strikes and targeted killings to consume Hamas’s effective strength. The National Defense Forces may have several other considerations in doing so, including trying to negotiate with Hamas to free the hostages, it will take some time to conduct military reconnaissance inside Gaza, and other preparations need to be completed after the reserve forces are assembled.
Although Israel’s military strength is far superior to Hamas, it is not a simple task to completely eliminate Hamas. Israel officially claims to have eliminated 2,000 Hamas members, but Hamas has 40,000 people, plus its leadership members are distributed in different Arab countries such as Qatar and Lebanon. It is difficult to completely eradicate it simply by relying on a single military operation. Moreover, Hamas in Gaza has been broken into pieces, no different from ordinary Gazans. After entering Gaza, the Israeli army may suffer a large number of accidental injuries. The further it enters the later stage, the more it will put Israel and its supporters under tremendous pressure. Although there are sufficient reasons for war, Israel still needs to abide by relevant international laws. Although the Biden administration has made it clear that it will fully support Israel, it also requires the Israel Defense Forces to abide by battlefield rules.
However, it will be difficult for the Israeli army to complete the annihilation of Hamas while fully complying with battlefield rules, especially considering that Hamas still has about 150 hostages. Judging from the available intelligence, the main members of Hamas and the hostages in Gaza are likely to be hiding in tunnels about 500 kilometers long underground in Gaza. Even if Gaza was razed to the ground, it would be difficult to blow them all out. The Israel Defense Forces will not easily enter the tunnel. The best way is to use poison gas to force the Hamas militants out, but this will also cause a large number of casualties to the hostages. Therefore, the process of Israeli ground troops entering Gaza to exterminate Hamas will not be so smooth this time.
Although this is a major test for Israel as a whole, Biden clearly compared Hamas to the “Islamic State” (IS) organization, which to a certain extent provides the Israeli military with greater moral space than before to carry out its activities. military operation. From 2016 to 2017, coalition forces led by the US military cleared the IS organization in Mosul, Iraq, and parts of Syria, causing a large number of civilian casualties.
Middle Eastern countries “avoid war”
Unlike the U.S. campaign against IS, Gaza’s 2.2 million residents have no place to escape when faced with Israel’s carpet bombings and ongoing manhunts. The only place they can go is Egypt, which borders Egypt to the south, but the Egyptian government has made it clear that it will not open the only port of Rafah. Humanitarian relief supplies can pass through, but people cannot. Although Egypt immediately expressed its support for the Palestinians and condemned Israel’s attack on Gaza, Egypt will never relent in accepting refugees even when the United States and Britain have promised to share the cost of accepting refugees with Egypt.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries have expressed their condemnation of Israel and believe that only the establishment of a Palestinian state can resolve the conflict. However, none of the above-mentioned countries are and are unlikely to be directly involved in this conflict.
Most other Arab countries put self-preservation first, condemning more, waiting and watching, and almost no one actually participated, except for the Lebanese Hezbollah in the north and some opposition groups in Syria. Israel has strengthened its military deployment on its northern border and has recently thwarted several attempts by Hezbollah to cross the border to cause harm. At present, the war in the north does not harm Israel’s overall situation.
However, what needs special attention from Israel is the increasingly fierce anti-Semitic sentiment and large-scale demonstrations in Western countries. Pro-Palestinian groups, mainly Arabs and Muslims, began to organize intensive activities in central cities and university campuses in Europe and the United States to support Hamas, criticize Israel’s apartheid measures against Palestinians, and demand the liberation of Palestine.
Anti-Semitism has always been a taboo in European and American societies. Any single anti-Semite who shows up will be violently suppressed and even “socially killed” by the European and American Jewish communities. However, in this round of conflicts, the condemnation of Israel has become a trend. Israel and Europe and the United States Jewish power cannot be completely suppressed. This may be a disadvantage that worries Israel more than other Arab countries falling behind Hamas.
The current Netanyahu government is undoubtedly in a very embarrassing situation. When they believe that more and more Arab countries have established diplomatic relations with them, and even the normalization of diplomatic relations with the “number one” Arab country Saudi Arabia is just around the corner, Hama Sri Lanka gave them a blow and made them understand that the establishment of a Palestinian state is still an issue that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Relying on tactical delays to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state faces huge risks.