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Israel Anticipates Prolonged Ground Offensive in Gaza to Neutralize Hamas and its Extensive Tunnel Network

by Gabriel Martinez
9 comments
Israel-Gaza Ground Offensive

Israel’s Defense Minister announced on Friday that the nation is preparing for an extended and challenging ground operation in Gaza with the aim of neutralizing Hamas and its elaborate tunnel infrastructure. Yoav Gallant spoke to a select group of international journalists in Tel Aviv, following a limited ground incursion into Gaza supported by Israeli fighter jets and drones. This marks the second such operation in as many days, targeting areas on the periphery of Gaza City.

Gallant emphasized that the upcoming ground assault, following weeks of aerial bombardments, will be of considerable duration and will subsequently give way to a protracted period of less intense conflict as Israel focuses on eliminating “residual resistance.”

Simultaneously, tensions in the region have escalated as U.S. aircraft targeted locations in eastern Syria. The Pentagon stated these sites were connected to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, following a series of assaults on American forces. Furthermore, unidentified objects struck towns in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Rising Death Toll and Humanitarian Crisis

The conflict, ignited by a violent incursion by Hamas into southern Israel, has now entered its third week. Palestinian officials report that over 7,300 people have died in Gaza. A blockade has resulted in the scarcity of essential supplies including food, water, fuel, and medical provisions. Calls for a ceasefire have been made by United Nations and Arab leaders to facilitate the slow entry of humanitarian aid.

The Health Ministry in Gaza revealed a comprehensive list of those deceased, comprising more than 3,000 minors and over 1,500 women. Israel has reported more than 1,400 deaths resulting from the Hamas attack on October 7 and disclosed that at least 229 hostages were taken into Gaza. Palestinian militants have launched thousands of rockets into Israel, including one that recently struck a residential area in Tel Aviv, causing four injuries.

The ongoing conflict has already claimed more lives than the combined fatalities of the four previous wars between Israel and Hamas, estimated at approximately 4,000. The anticipated ground invasion is expected to result in even greater casualties on both sides as armed confrontations take place in densely populated areas.

Fuel Scarcity and Infrastructure Concerns

Israel has halted all fuel deliveries to Gaza since the onset of the conflict, leaving hospitals scrambling for fuel to power essential life-sustaining equipment. Gallant stated that Israel suspects Hamas would seize any fuel entering the territory for use in operating its extensive tunnel network, which originates in civilian regions. He provided aerial imagery purportedly showing a tunnel opening located adjacent to a hospital.

Details regarding Hamas’ clandestine tunnel system and other infrastructure remain elusive, and verification of Gallant’s assertions was not possible. Lynne Hastings, the United Nations aid coordinator for the Palestinian territories, refrained from commenting on the matter, stating that information about what Hamas possesses remains uncertain.

The U.N. agency tasked with aiding Palestinian refugees noted that it has been compelled to allocate fuel among essential systems in hospitals, bakeries, and water purification plants and that supplies will last only a few more days.

Philippe Lazzarini, head of UNRWA, stated that the blockade is effectively being used to impose collective punishment on Gaza’s populace, a majority of whom are children and women.

Regional and Global Implications

The Israeli military has reported that ground troops carried out an incursion into Gaza, targeting numerous militant installations. They retreated without suffering casualties and conducted a similar operation in northern Gaza the previous day.

The U.S. Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, clarified that the recent U.S. military actions in eastern Syria were a response to “ongoing and largely ineffectual attacks” against American personnel in Iraq and Syria, and were unrelated to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas supported by Iran, has intermittently exchanged fire with Israel along the border. Israel has reciprocated by targeting Iran-affiliated groups in Syria. To deter further involvement by Iran and its allies, the United States has deployed two aircraft carrier strike groups to the region, along with additional arms and troops.

In a separate development, Egypt’s military reported that a drone crashed in the Red Sea town of Taba, injuring six individuals. An unidentified object also struck near a power facility in the Red Sea town of Nuweiba.

Despite these regional escalations, ongoing efforts to send humanitarian aid into Gaza continue, albeit hampered by strict screening procedures insisted upon by Israel.


Reporting was contributed by correspondents in Tel Aviv, Beirut, the Gaza Strip, Cairo, Jerusalem, and London.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Israel-Gaza Ground Offensive

What is the primary focus of the Israeli military operation in Gaza?

The primary focus of the Israeli military operation in Gaza is to neutralize Hamas and dismantle its extensive network of tunnels. According to Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, the operation will be long and difficult, and will be followed by a period of lower-intensity fighting aimed at destroying “residual resistance.”

Who is the Defense Minister of Israel, and what did he recently disclose?

The Defense Minister of Israel is Yoav Gallant. He recently disclosed to a select group of international journalists that Israel is preparing for an extended and challenging ground operation in Gaza. This operation is intended to neutralize Hamas and its elaborate tunnel infrastructure.

What is the current death toll in Gaza and Israel?

As of the report, the Palestinian death toll has exceeded 7,300, according to officials in Gaza. Israel has reported more than 1,400 deaths resulting from a Hamas attack on October 7. These figures already exceed the combined death toll of all four previous wars between Israel and Hamas, estimated at around 4,000.

What role is the United States playing in the region?

The United States has targeted locations in eastern Syria linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, separate from the Israel-Hamas conflict. Additionally, the U.S. has deployed two aircraft carrier strike groups, along with additional arms and troops, to the region to deter Iran and its allies from entering the war.

What is the humanitarian situation in Gaza?

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire. A blockade has resulted in dwindling supplies of essential items such as food, water, fuel, and medical provisions. Hospitals are struggling to find fuel for emergency generators. The United Nations and other aid organizations are attempting to send in humanitarian aid, but their efforts are severely constrained.

How are regional tensions affecting the situation?

Regional tensions are escalating. Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed ally of Hamas, has exchanged fire with Israel along the border. The U.S. has targeted locations in eastern Syria linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Egypt has also reported mysterious objects hitting towns in its Sinai Peninsula. These incidents indicate a volatile and complex regional landscape that could potentially widen the scope of the conflict.

What is the UN’s stance on the situation in Gaza?

The United Nations has called for a ceasefire to allow for the entry of humanitarian aid. Lynne Hastings, the U.N. aid coordinator for the Palestinian territories, refrained from commenting on claims made by Israel’s Defense Minister regarding Hamas’ capabilities. The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, stated that it has been forced to ration fuel among essential systems in hospitals, bakeries, and water purification plants.

What efforts are being made to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza?

Efforts to send humanitarian aid into Gaza continue, albeit hampered by strict screening procedures insisted upon by Israel. Over the past week, more than 80 trucks carrying aid have entered Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah crossing. However, aid workers say that these convoys meet only a fraction of the territory’s mounting humanitarian needs.

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9 comments

Sarah Miller October 27, 2023 - 4:26 pm

UN’s hands seem tied. They can’t say much, can’t do much. But why? Shouldn’t international organizations be more proactive in such crisis situations?

Reply
Timothy Clark October 27, 2023 - 5:35 pm

So Israel allows 80 trucks with aid, but hundreds used to enter daily? That’s just a drop in the ocean. Needs to be much more effort for humanitarian aid.

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Robert Green October 27, 2023 - 8:25 pm

Well, the tunnels and the strategies all sound high tech, but what about the common people? they’re the ones facing the worst of this.

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John Smith October 27, 2023 - 11:44 pm

Wow, this situation is so complicated. Can’t believe the death toll numbers, really shocking to see how many lives are being lost. And where’s the end to it all?

Reply
Alice Brown October 28, 2023 - 12:31 am

I just can’t wrap my head around these numbers, thousands killed and still counting. And what’s the long term plan? Seems like both sides are dug in for a long fight.

Reply
Mike Johnson October 28, 2023 - 3:40 am

US getting involved in Syria in the middle of Israel-Hamas war. Talk about complicated geopolitics. Who even keeps track of all these threads?

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Paul Wilson October 28, 2023 - 5:27 am

Tensions in Sinai and Lebanon too? Seems like this is turning into a regional issue fast. What’s next?

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Karen White October 28, 2023 - 11:16 am

So many children and women are suffering. it’s just not right. where is humanity in all of this?

Reply
Emily Davis October 28, 2023 - 11:38 am

This is like the never ending cycle of violence. I mean, it’s literally generations suffering through this. Seems like no one can find a solution.

Reply

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