What happens if Israel invades Gaza?
This is written on Thursday, and Israel is on the brink of launching its much-anticipated invasion of its tiny, but densely-populated neighbour, Gaza.
But what is the goal of the invasion? How many lives will be lost among soldiers, fighters, and civilians? How will it all come to an end?
Reuter’s says, “Israel is vowing to wipe out Hamas in a relentless onslaught on the Gaza Strip but has no obvious endgame in sight, with no clear plan for how to govern the ravaged Palestinian enclave even if it triumphs on the battlefield.”
Today, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant told the more than 300,000 ground troops Israel has mobilized to be ready to enter the Gaza Strip, though he didn’t say when the invasion will start.
“Codenamed ‘Operation Swords of Iron,’ the military campaign will be unmatched in its ferocity and unlike anything Israel has carried out in Gaza in the past,” predicts Reuters.
Last week, we shared with you remarks by Martin Indyk, who has twice served as U.S. ambassador to Israel and U.S. President Barack Obama’s special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. He told the New York Times the invasion will present two problems:
“One is that Israel would be fighting in densely populated areas, and the international outcry against civilian casualties that Israel would inflict with its high-tech American weapons would shift condemnation onto the United States and Israel, and put pressure on Israel to stop.
“The second problem is, if Israel succeeds in a full-scale war, they then own Gaza, and they have to answer the questions: How are we going to get out? When do we withdraw? Whom do we withdraw in favor of? Remember, the Israelis already withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and they do not want to go back in.”
New York Times reporter Steven Erlanger wonders if the Hamas leadership is even in the territory, or are they operating in Egypt or elsewhere, out of Israel’s reach. “It’s going to be very hard to destroy the Hamas leadership.”
Erlanger says that the Palestinian movement will likely never be crushed. “I mean, part of their problem is they can kill a lot of Hamas soldiers. They can destroy a lot of equipment and arms. They can go house to house. But they can’t prevent the idea of Palestinian resistance. They can’t extinguish that. And I’m sure some group will come to replace Hamas.”
“So no, I don’t think you can kill the Palestinian idea.”
- Listen to “Israel’s Plan to Destroy Hamas” by The Daily, produced by the New York Times and posted on October 11, 2023