LOGIN

Urban battle from past Gaza war offers glimpse of what an Israeli ground offensive might look like

by Madison Thomas
5 comments
Gaza Urban Battle

The past urban battle that unfolded nearly a decade ago during Israel’s third war against Hamas provides insight into what an Israeli ground offensive might resemble as they prepare to take action against Hamas for their recent actions in southern Israel. This particular engagement occurred on July 19, 2014, with the focus on Shijaiyah, a densely populated district in Gaza City that the Israeli army claimed had been turned into a “terrorist fortress” by Hamas, featuring tunnels, rocket launchers, and booby traps.

The battle took place on the third day of a ground offensive following a 10-day air campaign. Similar to the current situation, Palestinian civilians were urged to evacuate the area, yet many chose to remain, either due to Hamas’ instructions or a lack of alternative shelter.

As Israeli forces advanced into Shijaiyah, a maze of low-rise concrete buildings and narrow alleyways, militants unleashed a heavy barrage of automatic gunfire, anti-tank missiles, and rocket-propelled grenades. An armored personnel carrier experienced mechanical issues, leading two soldiers to exit the vehicle to address the problem. Tragically, a militant fired an anti-tank missile at the carrier, resulting in its destruction and the loss of all seven soldiers inside. Amid the ensuing chaos, Hamas fighters managed to take away the remains of one of the soldiers, which they still hold.

In response to this dire situation, soldiers were ordered to seek refuge in their armored vehicles while artillery units launched 600 shells, and aircraft conducted airstrikes from above. The following day, Israeli warplanes dropped 100 one-ton bombs on the area.

During this 2014 battle, an Israeli soldier described a sense of “craziness” due to the intensity of the firepower employed. The consequences were severe, with 55 civilians killed, including 19 children and 14 women, as confirmed by a U.N. report, in addition to an unspecified number of militants. Thirteen Israeli soldiers also lost their lives.

Retired Israeli general Amir Avivi, who served alongside top commanders during the 2014 conflict, anticipates a different approach this time, emphasizing the importance of initiating artillery and airstrikes before a ground maneuver. This strategy aims to minimize casualties among Israeli troops. However, the tremendous firepower used in the initial stages had devastating effects on civilians and caused extensive destruction in the neighborhood, with the U.N. report documenting the destruction of 670 buildings and severe damage to nearly 1,200 more, along with 270 craters.

Notably, the International Criminal Court is investigating possible war crimes committed by both sides during the 2014 war, although Israel declined to cooperate, citing biases in U.N. bodies against them.

With Israel now planning a comprehensive air, ground, and naval offensive in the near future, and with troops and tanks amassed along the Gaza border, the situation is on the brink of another significant escalation. Shijaiyah is expected to be a primary target if Israeli forces decide to advance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gaza Urban Battle

What was the context of the urban battle mentioned in the text?

The urban battle took place in Shijaiyah, Gaza City, during Israel’s third war against Hamas in July 2014. It was part of a ground offensive following a 10-day air campaign.

How did Hamas use Shijaiyah in this battle?

Hamas had turned Shijaiyah into a “terrorist fortress,” using it for tunnels, rocket launchers, and booby traps, according to the Israeli army.

What were the consequences of the battle?

The battle resulted in a high number of casualties, with 55 civilians, including children and women, killed. Thirteen Israeli soldiers also lost their lives. Extensive damage was inflicted on the neighborhood.

What has changed in Israel’s strategy for a potential future offensive?

Israeli officials are considering initiating artillery and airstrikes before a ground maneuver to minimize troop casualties.

Is there any international involvement or investigation related to this battle?

Yes, the International Criminal Court is investigating possible war crimes committed by both sides during the 2014 war, although Israel declined to cooperate, citing biases in U.N. bodies against them.

More about Gaza Urban Battle

You may also like

5 comments

AutoBuff October 16, 2023 - 8:49 pm

Crazy stuff. Hope the cars in Shijaiyah survived all that.

Reply
JournoExpert October 16, 2023 - 9:25 pm

interesting info on that Gaza battle in 2014. a real mess with lots of casualties. war crimes investigations ongoing!

Reply
GlobalWatcher October 16, 2023 - 11:56 pm

ICC investigating, but Israel ain’t cooperating? That’s a problem.

Reply
CryptoNerd247 October 17, 2023 - 1:54 am

Didn’t kno that Hamas used Shijaiyah like a terrorist base. wow.

Reply
FinanceWiz October 17, 2023 - 4:30 am

55 civilians died in that fight?! Terrible. Hope there’s a better strategy this time.

Reply

Leave a Comment

logo-site-white

BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News

en_USEnglish