A month after the launch of the war against the Gaza Strip to, officially, annihilate Hamas and wash away the affront of the October 7 operation, and a dozen days after the start of its “land operations”, the Israeli occupation army is at an impasse.
It continues to come up against Palestinian fighters whose recourse to the guerrilla strategy, imposed on it by the conditions of asymmetric warfare, is creating a surprise. To take revenge for its setbacks on the ground, the Israeli army resorted to the multiplication and intensification of aerial bombardments which resulted in horrible massacres of civilians.
These heinous war crimes have ended up turning global public opinion, including in Western countries, against the colonialist and racist state of Israel and only reinforce the vast momentum of international solidarity in favor of the Palestinian people and for immediate end to the war.
A month after the launch of this war which now has the appearance of a war aimed at terrorizing the population into exodus, the humanitarian situation is catastrophic according to all international organizations. But on the ground, the Israeli occupation army, despite unrivaled firepower, is marking time.
A simple comparison between the current war and that of 2014 could enlighten us. In 2014, the Israeli army, which launched its war on July 8, moved to the ground offensive on July 18, 10 days after the launch of the war.
This time, the Israeli army had to wait three full weeks before resigning itself to what it called its first “land operations”, which rose to a crescendo not without having recorded setbacks during the first three days following the losses suffered.
The comparison is enough to make the most skeptical admit that the Hamas of 2023 is no longer that of 2014. A new strategic equation has emerged in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This new situation explains the fact that Israeli generals, including the former head of Mossad, did not hesitate to express their doubt as to the relevance of a ground offensive, joined in this analysis by American generals sent there. by the American Administration to advise the Israeli army.
Mosul rather than Faluja!
“ Mosul rather than Faluja », This was, in summary, the advice of the Americans. Traumatized by the 2004 battle of Falouja, during which the Iraqi resistance which transformed the city into an entrenched camp forced the American army to use indescribable means to finally take an immense pile of ruins, the American Administration does not want that the Israeli army falls into a similar trap and prefers to repeat the military model of the battle of Mosul (2016) when the American army and its Iraqi auxiliaries alternated intensive aerial bombardments and gradual and calculated ground operations in order to dislodge the “Islamic State” militias who had previously taken the city too easily thanks to the suspicious withdrawal of the Iraqi army.
In other words, the Biden Administration’s advice is that the Israeli army should avoid a “bulldozing” operation in Gaza, which would be catastrophic for the civilian population, with the risk of turning Western public opinion against Israel and to put its Western allies in an untenable diplomatic situation.
Furthermore, the human cost of such an offensive for Israeli forces would exceed the threshold that Israeli colonial society could bear.
To understand the map of the evolution of the confrontation on the ground ten days after the start of the ground offensive, we must remember that the total area of the Gaza Strip barely exceeds 360 km2. The strip is approximately 41 kilometers long and 6 to 12 kilometers wide.
The Israeli army sought to penetrate the territory of the Gaza Strip via three axes: a first axis in the northwest, a second in the northeast and a third in the center-east. The common particularity of these three axes is that they are backed by practically uninhabited agricultural areas which do not constitute any military challenge for the Palestinian resistance, and where it is easy for Israeli armored vehicles to advance, especially since they are constantly covered by aviation and artillery.
Setbacks on the ground
During the first days of the ground operation, Israeli forces were able to advance three kilometers to the north and 5 kilometers to the center without encountering much resistance. But as soon as they began to approach the inhabited areas in the suburbs of Beit Lahyia, Beit Hanoune and Jabalyia in the north and Juhr Eddik in the center-east, they were, as was predictable, the target of the Palestinian fighters who emerge from underground or damaged buildings, armed with Yassine 105 rockets (a local copy of the RPG 7 manufactured in resistance workshops).
In one week, the occupying army lost several dozen Merkava tanks, Panther infantry vehicles and military engineering vehicles whose task was to clear the ground for the infantry units.
The first human losses are also significant, even if the Israeli army has only recognized around thirty killed since the start of the ground operation, including several officers and a lieutenant-colonel who commanded a tank battalion and several hundred injured. In any case, the losses suffered by the Israeli army pushed the units engaged on the three axes to retreat and ask the aviation and artillery to shell the “contaminated” sectors before returning to the charge with the armored vehicles.
The Israeli press, citing military experts, is obliged to deplore a “disappointing outcome” from the first days of the ground operation.
On the tenth day of the ground offensive, the Israeli army seems to have made some advances on the three axes mentioned by adding a fourth axis to the southeast in the suburbs of Khan Younes where the Israeli forces are advancing under the cover of the air force. and the navy. The Israeli armored vehicles of the reconnaissance battalion of the Golani brigade have reached the coast from the center which constitutes the soft underbelly over a width of around ten kilometers and are seeking to move up towards the Echatai’ camp.
However, the objective of encircling Gaza City still seems distant as the Israeli army is unable to stabilize significant bridgeheads in the four axes where fierce fighting continues to take place.
And even if the Israeli army ended up encircling Gaza City, this result would not in itself constitute a significant military victory, given that the military issue is not so much the encirclement of the city as its capture or its destruction. capitulation.
However, even assuming that the bombings succeed in emptying the city of most of its inhabitants, the attackers will face a challenge more imposing and more costly than the advances of armored columns under air cover: that of having to fight against thousands fighters who have taken up residence in the tunnels and who can burst out at any time to target armored vehicles and infantrymen.
This prospect is all the more worrying since the Israeli generals do not seem to have a plan for the future. The Israeli Minister of Defense spoke of a first stage of three months to overcome this symbolic city, which is becoming before our eyes the new Stalingrad, and of a second stage of nine months to “secure” the territory !
The absence of a realistic plan, as incredible as it may be, is becoming a source of concern for their American allies who no longer hesitate to let their protégés know it.
The premeditated massacres of civilians which have occurred one after the other in recent days illustrate the military impasse in which the Israeli army finds itself, whose leaders now seem to be betting on these horrible massacres to push the 400,000 civilians who remained in the area into an exodus. northern Gaza Strip.
Militarily speaking, they seem to be resigning themselves to the inglorious prospect of burying under a deluge of bombs or gassing the tunnels housing several thousand Palestinian fighters, since everything indicates that they are incapable of confronting them in battle. open land.
This sordid prospect would suit many Western and Arab capitals well, as Hamas today constitutes the grain of sand which could derail the process of Israeli-Arab normalization on which the American Empire is betting to lay the foundations of a new order. regional under his boot.
Of course, such a regional order can only be built on the rubble of the Palestinian people, whom everyone is trying to force to accept a miserable Bantustan, under the leadership of the no less miserable Mahmoud Abbas or his possible successor the sinister Dahlane .
But between these wishes as unrealistic as they are abject and the surprises that a story full of suffering, hopes and struggles reserves, who could bet on the diabolical force of evil when Justice finally finds on its path men who have understood that is law worthless without the force supposed to protect it?
In her moving message of love and respect for the Palestinian people, Aleida Guevara-March, the worthy daughter of anti-imperialist leader Che Guevara, launched a call not only to stand firm in the face of the Israeli colonialist and fascist armada but to conquer.
Victory, which the internationalist activist thinks of, should not be understood in the conventional sense. The Palestinian fighters, in their plurality, are not engaged in a conventional war in which victory means the neutralization of the enemy’s offensive capabilities and its capitulation. But in revolutionary war, the equation is different. It is about preventing the enemy from achieving his political objectives.
If Israel doesn’t win, it loses. However, even if it succeeds in destroying Hamas, Israel would not be in the position of a winner because in addition to the dishonor, it would have to prepare to face in less than ten years another generation of fighters as long as the cause – namely colonization – is still there.
On the other hand, if the Palestinian fighters do not lose, she wins. But how can we speak of loss if the latter can only be momentary in all cases? And how can the new Stalingrad lose when its resistance shakes the regional order, doubts Israel’s most faithful allies and attracts so much sympathy in the world, including in pacifist Jewish circles who refuse to be massacred? children in their name?
Out of a spirit of vengeance, Israel set the bar too high by setting the goal of its war to be the annihilation of Hamas. But revenge is a bad advisor. The Palestinian people are a hope, the hope that is nourished by faith and hope that, no matter how long the night, the day will eventually dawn.
It’s written in the cosmos. It is written in the hearts of those who believe and in the Koranic verses that the fighters chant in their plurality, before going to defy death.
For Justice and for the Fatherland, thus reproducing, within the framework of their own tradition and with their own language, the epic gesture of all the knights of the world, beyond geographical, historical and cultural borders.
The Palestinians have left to humanity a legacy of the political imperative to resist injustice and the moral duty of solidarity with all those fighting for their right to life and dignity.