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Why Israel’s push into southern Gaza could be a ‘real hell of a fight’


CharlieH

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Once a temporary truce ends between Israel and Hamas, fighting is expected to enter the deadliest phase of the war, when Israeli troops confront the main Hamas force in southern Gaza. 

Israeli troops inside of Gaza for about a month have largely cemented control over the northern half of the coastal strip, including the urban center of Gaza City, and will next focus on the south, where 1.7 million Palestinian civilians are sequestered. 

 

But southern Gaza is also currently home to the bulk of Hamas, most of which is still intact after nearly two months of war. Many Hamas fighters fled Gaza City and other strongholds in the north to hide down south. 

If Israel wants to destroy Hamas, as per its stated goal, that will require taking the fight south — where they will risk a high rate of civilian casualties and increased pressure for a cease-fire, which could magnify depending on how long the ongoing truce extends and how many hostages are released. 

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged “there is no place in Gaza that we will not reach,” brushing aside any calls to halt the campaign to annihilate Hamas for launching a deadly Oct. 7 surprise attack on southern Israel that killed 1,200 people. 

“There is no hiding, no shelter, no refuge for the murderers of Hamas,” Netanyahu said earlier this month.

At the moment, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says it is committed to securing the release of the hostages during a temporary truce while preparing for the next stage of the war. 

 

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Just now, placeholder said:

Well, given that Netanyahu and most of the cabinet are political players,and that Israeli Jewish citizens, as opposed to its Arab citizens, are mostly not overly concerned with the fate of the Palestinians,, and that it's not just strategic considerations that drive Israel's incursion into Gaza, I'd bet that there won't be way less air support.

 

More of your opinion than a 'given'. And given that your opinions are on public display on these topics, unsurprising.

 

The disregard you allege is not anywhere near as what you describe or claim, and regardless, Israel could not pursue such a strategy with the USA (and to a lesser degree, the West in general) opposing it. As for Netanyahu's coalition and government - if elections were held now, they'd be routed. In terms of legitimacy, they depends on the ongoing emergency participation of a major opposition party in government. If this support is withdrawn - and it may come to this if Netanyahu's policies would stray too much from Israel's national security tenets (such as risking a rift with the USA).

 

By and large, anti-government protests during the last months previous to the war demonstrated that the IAF was largely pro-opposition (to clarify, the IAF relies heavily on reserve duty pilots and aircrews). There was already a sizeable motion of reservists refusing to show up for duty (and operative capability effected) prior to the war. If put in a place where the missions allocated, or the government allocating them seem illegitimate, there's a good chance this will be repeated.

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8 minutes ago, Morch said:

 

More of your opinion than a 'given'. And given that your opinions are on public display on these topics, unsurprising.

 

The disregard you allege is not anywhere near as what you describe or claim, and regardless, Israel could not pursue such a strategy with the USA (and to a lesser degree, the West in general) opposing it. As for Netanyahu's coalition and government - if elections were held now, they'd be routed. In terms of legitimacy, they depends on the ongoing emergency participation of a major opposition party in government. If this support is withdrawn - and it may come to this if Netanyahu's policies would stray too much from Israel's national security tenets (such as risking a rift with the USA).

 

By and large, anti-government protests during the last months previous to the war demonstrated that the IAF was largely pro-opposition (to clarify, the IAF relies heavily on reserve duty pilots and aircrews). There was already a sizeable motion of reservists refusing to show up for duty (and operative capability effected) prior to the war. If put in a place where the missions allocated, or the government allocating them seem illegitimate, there's a good chance this will be repeated.

Given that my conclusion was " I'd bet that there won't be way less air support." why would you think I was offering this as anything other than an opinion.

As for the reserve duty pilots and aircrews, what did their earlier refusal have to do with Israeli policy towards the Palestinians? Wasn't it basically about Natanyahu's and company's plan to defang the Supreme Court? I didn't read much if anything much about Israeli policy towards Palestinians in their protests.

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3 minutes ago, placeholder said:

Given that my conclusion was " I'd bet that there won't be way less air support." why would you think I was offering this as anything other than an opinion.

As for the reserve duty pilots and aircrews, what did their earlier refusal have to do with Israeli policy towards the Palestinians? Wasn't it basically about Natanyahu's and company's plan to defang the Supreme Court? I didn't read much if anything much about Israeli policy towards Palestinians in their protests.

 

That would come from your opening 'given' wholesale remark.

 

As for the pilots - one of the main arguments of their overwhelming pro-Supreme-court-independence was that as far as international law goes, the existence of a robust and free legal system (centering on the Supreme Court) was one of the strong barriers shielding Israel (and by extension, Israelis partaking in) military actions vs. the Palestinians. Bodies such as the ICC etc. are usually less likely to intervene if the legal system in the country is deemed 'good enough' (by no means perfect - that's not a requirement) to handle things. So whether you want to attribute it to political position, moral point of view or self preservation motives - guess different things for different individuals (or a mix), but comes down to the same thing.

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, JCauto said:

 

LOL! Aren't you one of the pro-gun crowd? Perhaps you should review how accurate police are when shooting at a suspect, usually they fire dozens of rounds and manage to miss the target by a mile, yet there aren't bystanders dropping like flies due to the bullets flying around. The studies on accuracy of infantry fighting in war show similarly poor accuracy and lack of massive amounts of friendly fire casualties.

As to the "5,000 dead children" claims, perhaps you should not take Hamas statistics as being based on anything other than what they want you to believe. I am not taking any of the combatants' words as gospel during this conflict or others.

I am pro gun, and I was trained by the government to use them. Unless you were trained by the government to use them, I'll take what I learned over comments on this forum.

 

The reason for needing so many bullets to kill one enemy is that one is trying to avoid being killed oneself and it's not easy when needing a clear view. Snipers are usually pretty good though.

 

My comment was more along the line of "there is less likelihood of mass civilian casualties if it's rifles as against hi explosive shells and bombs".

 

5,000 or 500, it's too many, and given the amount of damage inflicted by bombing from safety high high up in the sky, it should be more like 50,000. However, give them enough time and I'm sure they can reach that death toll.

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4 hours ago, CharlieH said:

At the moment, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says it is committed to securing the release of the hostages during a temporary truce while preparing for the next stage of the war. 

Like that's going to happen, NOT. There are only 2 more days unless Hamas comes up with more, and no israeli men are being released.

 

The israelis haven't found a single live israeli so far, that wasn't handed over.

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27 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

Like that's going to happen, NOT. There are only 2 more days unless Hamas comes up with more, and no israeli men are being released.

 

The israelis haven't found a single live israeli so far, that wasn't handed over.

 

@thaibeachlovers

 

Maybe it wasn't on AJ....

 

Israeli forces rescue soldier held by Hamas in special operation, IDF says

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/10/31/middleeast/idf-ori-megidish-rescue-hamas-hostage-intl-hnk/index.html

 

 

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38 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

Like that's going to happen, NOT. There are only 2 more days unless Hamas comes up with more, and no israeli men are being released.

 

The israelis haven't found a single live israeli so far, that wasn't handed over.

You really have no idea what's really happened so far do you. In an Al Jazeera bubble. 

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4 hours ago, Morch said:

The main problem is the civilian population.

 

The fighting in the north part of Gaza (which isn't over yet, by the way) was conducted with much of the population already evacuated or in the process of doing so. The same could not be repeated down south -

 

(a) Civilians could not move 'back' to the north, as there's much damage to infrastructure, services and homes. Also, this would place them at the back

      of the IDF, which (considering sympathies and Hamas infiltration) militarily might not be a great idea.

 

(b) Egypt would not agree civilians being moved to its own territory, across the border. The USA and the global community will likewise not support this.

      In PR terms it would be a disaster, echoing the Palestinian 1948 Nakba.

 

So if fighting was to be commenced with civilians in place, it would imply way less air support for IDF troops, more opportunists for Hamas to use the population as human shields. Civilian casualty figures may not necessarily increase, but as it will be more up and personal, the effect on public opinion would be different.

 

I'm not sure how this could be tackled, or if plans in place would provide a good solution. Leaving things as they are is not a great option either, though.

Early on, Netanyahu said the war will be "long and difficult."  His statement came as the ground assault of Gaza (second stage) began.  It has been over 6 weeks since this assessment was made.  And it looks like the hostilities will continue a lot longer.

Today UNWRA's largest contributor, Germany, announced it will be freezing it contributions to the agency.  Switzerland is also taking similar measures.  Word is that other EU nations are thinking of also cutting back funding or completely halt aid.

It is rather doubtful that the U.S., or anyone else for that matter, will make up the shortfall.  This is not good news for Hamas and the Palestinians who rely on this aid to survive. 

It may also mean that mass starvation will possibly bring this conflict closer to an end.  Not a pleasant thought, but a real possibility.

Edited by Hawaiian
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5 hours ago, Morch said:

 

That would come from your opening 'given' wholesale remark.

 

As for the pilots - one of the main arguments of their overwhelming pro-Supreme-court-independence was that as far as international law goes, the existence of a robust and free legal system (centering on the Supreme Court) was one of the strong barriers shielding Israel (and by extension, Israelis partaking in) military actions vs. the Palestinians. Bodies such as the ICC etc. are usually less likely to intervene if the legal system in the country is deemed 'good enough' (by no means perfect - that's not a requirement) to handle things. So whether you want to attribute it to political position, moral point of view or self preservation motives - guess different things for different individuals (or a mix), but comes down to the same thing.

 

 

 

 

About ICC, a part of the Rome Statute provides exemption from an ICC action if the country will take action itself. This was intended to make the treaty more palatable to the US. Until now, and since the Palestinians gained the UN status to be a party to the Rome Statute, Israeli persons have not so far been indicted, but I think that now it's only a matter of time.

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3 hours ago, Hawaiian said:

Early on, Netanyahu said the war will be "long and difficult."  His statement came as the ground assault of Gaza (second stage) began.  It has been over 6 weeks since this assessment was made.  And it looks like the hostilities will continue a lot longer.

Today UNWRA's largest contributor, Germany, announced it will be freezing it contributions to the agency.  Switzerland is also taking similar measures.  Word is that other EU nations are thinking of also cutting back funding or completely halt aid.

It is rather doubtful that the U.S., or anyone else for that matter, will make up the shortfall.  This is not good news for Hamas and the Palestinians who rely on this aid to survive. 

It may also mean that mass starvation will possibly bring this conflict closer to an end.  Not a pleasant thought, but a real possibility.

 

Netanyahu was not alone in this assessment. It was aired by many other politicians, generals and analysts.

 

The donations thing is hard to keep track of - initially comments were that budgets and donations would be frozen, then some about faces, then frozen again - it can get a bit confusing given that the money is actually funneled through multiple channels and to different causes (many under UNRWA's care). Historically, whenever things seem to come to the brink, the money goes through.

 

Regarding 'starvation', I seriously doubt it. Recall how we were told water will suffice for 'x' more days, over and over again? How fuel 'ran out'? And so on and so forth. One may consider again, Hamas's role in both creating the current crisis, and the part played in diverting resources over the years.

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50 minutes ago, placnx said:

About ICC, a part of the Rome Statute provides exemption from an ICC action if the country will take action itself. This was intended to make the treaty more palatable to the US. Until now, and since the Palestinians gained the UN status to be a party to the Rome Statute, Israeli persons have not so far been indicted, but I think that now it's only a matter of time.

 

So long as the Israeli Supreme Court is in place, and in it's current stature, not much chance of that. The requirement is that the country will have an independent legal system able to address issues - not that issues will be addressed to the satisfaction of those suing. What you imagine a matter of time seems to be a very long term prospect (if, indeed, the Netanyahu coalition government manages to pass the judicial 'overhaul' - which seems less likely now).

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4 hours ago, Hanaguma said:

Frankly, UNRWA just needs to go a way. They have been an impediment in Gaza and indeed all Palestinian areas. The material they teach children is shocking- no wonder they support Hamas 75%. Not to mention that 80 years as refugees is enough. Time for a programme of de-Hamasification, followed by aid to build up Gaza that does not get stolen by terrorists or fat cat supporters living in luxury overseas.

Many in the EU and elsewhere are fed up with how UNRWA operates.  As its leading contributor, Germany is leading the trend to halt funding this organization that has been accused of promoting an "excitement of hatred." Meanwhile in the U.S. violence associated with pro-Palestinian demonstrations will curb any more support to UNRWA.  And the exposure of how Hamas has siphoned off resources certainly doesn't help.  There may not be a flip flop like one poster suggested.  Time will tell.

is also a deterrent to continue supporting

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21 hours ago, Hawaiian said:

It may also mean that mass starvation will possibly bring this conflict closer to an end.  Not a pleasant thought, but a real possibility.

Mass starvation, disease and wounds ( no hospitals left to do more than first aid ), hypothermia as living in tents with no winter clothing. Take your pick and likely all will do the job for isreal, as it's intentions have become pretty clear from comments made by senior israeli officials. A Gaza devoid of Palestinians is apparently the objective, and IMO will be reached one way or the other while the western governments look

the other way, and when it's too late, will shed crocodile tears and say that they "didn't realise what would happen".

 

However, western citizens may have differing ideas and force their governments to do what they don't want to do, and I expect that the Arab street will not stay quiescent. Iran may also have something to say and do about it.

 

Can even Biden turn a blind eye if the death toll approaches 100,000, 200,000, 500,000, or a million or two?

 

If the israelis have a plan for "after" they are being pretty quiet about it, other than muttering that they will occupy it "indefinitely"

 

Then, there is only the West Bank and East Jerusalem to take care of, in due course.

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21 hours ago, Hawaiian said:

Today UNWRA's largest contributor, Germany, announced it will be freezing it contributions to the agency.  Switzerland is also taking similar measures.  Word is that other EU nations are thinking of also cutting back funding or completely halt aid.

There is no reason Saudi should not make up the shortfall, except they apparently don't like Palestinians. They have plenty of western money to send some to UNWRA.

 

As for the western countries that voted to create modern israel, it's their fault that the situation is a disaster, so they should pay up.

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BTW, I doubt Hamas fighters will surrender, knowing the fate they would have in israeli hands. I'm pretty sure they knew there was only one way it would end and not happily for them. A fight to the death, which means they are far more dangerous than a normal reservist soldier that just wants to go home in one piece.

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2 hours ago, thaibeachlovers said:

Mass starvation, disease and wounds ( no hospitals left to do more than first aid ), hypothermia as living in tents with no winter clothing. Take your pick and likely all will do the job for isreal, as it's intentions have become pretty clear from comments made by senior israeli officials. A Gaza devoid of Palestinians is apparently the objective, and IMO will be reached one way or the other while the western governments look

the other way, and when it's too late, will shed crocodile tears and say that they "didn't realise what would happen".

 

However, western citizens may have differing ideas and force their governments to do what they don't want to do, and I expect that the Arab street will not stay quiescent. Iran may also have something to say and do about it.

 

Can even Biden turn a blind eye if the death toll approaches 100,000, 200,000, 500,000, or a million or two?

 

If the israelis have a plan for "after" they are being pretty quiet about it, other than muttering that they will occupy it "indefinitely"

 

Then, there is only the West Bank and East Jerusalem to take care of, in due course.

 

@thaibeachlovers

 

What 'senior Israeli officials' would these be? What comments are you referring to? What you broadcast as Israel's goals are mostly  notions spewed by yourself, without ever providing support. And even if that was so - what responsibility does Hamas carry for this? Apparently none, from your biased point of view.

 

And here we go again with you co-opting 'western citizens', as if all of them were identifying with your warped notions and agenda. I don't think that as a sustained thing, this is foremost on Western citizens minds. Not all, or even most, for sure.

 

Is the death toll anywhere near your hysterical figures? It is not. Do current figures include numerous Hamas men killed? They are.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, thaibeachlovers said:

There is no reason Saudi should not make up the shortfall, except they apparently don't like Palestinians. They have plenty of western money to send some to UNWRA.

 

As for the western countries that voted to create modern israel, it's their fault that the situation is a disaster, so they should pay up.

 

@thaibeachlovers

 

Why would it be up to SA to pick up the tab?

 

And yes, I think it's clear you object to Israel's existence, while trying to claim you're objective.

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2 hours ago, thaibeachlovers said:

BTW, I doubt Hamas fighters will surrender, knowing the fate they would have in israeli hands. I'm pretty sure they knew there was only one way it would end and not happily for them. A fight to the death, which means they are far more dangerous than a normal reservist soldier that just wants to go home in one piece.

 

@thaibeachlovers

 

Hamas men which will surrender will be imprisoned. While there is talk about asking death penalties for those directly involved in the 7/10 attack, this seems to be legally problematic and would probably not come about. The calls are mostly from extreme right wing elements, as usual. Your idolizing of Hamas terrorists is dully noted.

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20 hours ago, Morch said:

 

So long as the Israeli Supreme Court is in place, and in it's current stature, not much chance of that. The requirement is that the country will have an independent legal system able to address issues - not that issues will be addressed to the satisfaction of those suing. What you imagine a matter of time seems to be a very long term prospect (if, indeed, the Netanyahu coalition government manages to pass the judicial 'overhaul' - which seems less likely now).

Maybe the problem is that military law inherited from the British applies to Palestinians in the West Bank, so when war crimes happen, the military investigates itself with predictable outcome, even when there is video evidence. The murder of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist, has been referred to the ICC, which has jurisdiction in the West Bank (and Gaza).

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2 hours ago, thaibeachlovers said:

BTW, I doubt Hamas fighters will surrender, knowing the fate they would have in israeli hands. I'm pretty sure they knew there was only one way it would end and not happily for them. A fight to the death, which means they are far more dangerous than a normal reservist soldier that just wants to go home in one piece.

So who are all the Hamas terrorist fighters that have been shown on video being interviewed after surrendering/being captured and revealing intel to Israel? @thaibeachlovers

Edited by Bkk Brian
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38 minutes ago, placnx said:

Maybe the problem is that military law inherited from the British applies to Palestinians in the West Bank, so when war crimes happen, the military investigates itself with predictable outcome, even when there is video evidence. The murder of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist, has been referred to the ICC, which has jurisdiction in the West Bank (and Gaza).

 

The military law system is subordinate to the the Supreme Court as well. So long as Palestinians have a path to appeal military law verdicts, there's not likely to be much actual international action taken, other than criticism.

 

You deciding the outcome of a case (by labeling it 'murder') is on par with much of what you post - a confusion between what you think and what is. As for jurisdiction - even if the ICC declares so, it's meaningless if it cannot be acted upon. Considering the ICC cannot do so without Israel's consent, not sure where you're going with this argument.

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On 11/30/2023 at 3:08 PM, Morch said:

 

The military law system is subordinate to the the Supreme Court as well. So long as Palestinians have a path to appeal military law verdicts, there's not likely to be much actual international action taken, other than criticism.

 

You deciding the outcome of a case (by labeling it 'murder') is on par with much of what you post - a confusion between what you think and what is. As for jurisdiction - even if the ICC declares so, it's meaningless if it cannot be acted upon. Considering the ICC cannot do so without Israel's consent, not sure where you're going with this argument.

Maybe it takes someone to appeal a judgement for the Israeli Supreme Court to act. The military invetigating itself does not lead to a verdict in the case of military bad actors. Concerning the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh, there is abundant evidence for it, i.e. prima facie. It's a prime example of IDF impunity.

 

Now you divert to captive Palestinians. Those under administrative detention, now 1300 people, can be held up to 20 years without knowing why the are held, with no means of challenging their detention in court. So no way to appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court.

 

As for your claim about ICC, it has indicted Vladimir Putin. It did not need Russia's permission to do so. The occupied territories are covered by the Rome Statute since 1 January 2015. I don't know whether prior war crimes, etc, could be prosecuted, but many activities are ongoing, so acts previous to 2015, such as the settlements, would nonetheless be covered IMO.

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/icc-has-jurisdiction-over-palestinian-territories/2135545

 

The US in particular has been very active in attempting to undermine the ICC regarding Israel: https://arabcenterdc.org/resource/the-international-criminal-courts-failure-to-hold-israel-accountable/

 

 

 

 

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