Gaza: Kommt die Bodenoffensive noch? Fragen nach der Strategie und Postwar Order

Gaza: Kommt die Bodenoffensive noch? Fragen nach der Strategie und Postwar Order

Die angekündigte Bodenoffensive Israels wurde nun verschoben. Angeblich wegen des Wetters und ungünstiger Sichtverhältnisse. Man gewinnt aber den Eindruck, dass die Ungewissheit, ob die Hisbollah eingreifen wird, sollte Israel in einem Kriegssumpf im Gaza versinken und das abwartet, möglicherweise Differenzen in der Nationalen Notstandsregierung über die Kriegsziele und das konkrete Vorgehen  sowie außenpolitischer Druck seitens der Biden- Administration und Forderungen nach einer Strategie und Postkonflikt- Vision, wie es denn nach dem erhofften Sturz und der Auslöschung der Hamas weitergehen soll, da auch in diese Entscheidung hineinspielen.

“Why has the Gaza ground invasion been delayed since Friday? – analysis

Is Hezbollah waiting to strike until forces are in a Gaza quagmire?

By YONAH JEREMY BOB OCTOBER 16, 2023 18:37 Updated: OCTOBER 16, 2023 20:09

It seemed crystal clear on Thursday: the IDF counter-invasion of Gaza would start either Friday or Saturday.

The IDF had given certain deadlines for Palestinians to evacuate northern Gaza, with the deadlines expiring by midday Friday.

The drum beat toward an invasion had started as early as Sunday-Monday and was only getting louder, with the air force having already paved the way with several days of withering bombing.

Yet, now we have arrived at late Monday, and if anything, the signs (which could also be psychological warfare) are that the invasion is further away, and not yet imminent.

What changed?

A number of factors seem to have caused a delay, but sources have told The Jerusalem Post that one factor has been a growing concern that Hezbollah is waiting for the moment that most IDF ground forces are committed to Gaza to open a full front with the IDF in the north.

In this narrative, the fact that Hezbollah did not engage at the start of the war Saturday morning and has kept its attacks on Israel at a fairly low threshold does not prove that it is deterred but is part of an elaborate fake-out to lure the IDF into a false sense of security, similar to what Hamas pulled off in the south. 

As fodder for such suspicions, sources would note that Israeli intelligence and the political echelon must have a new level of humility about their assessments of enemy intentions after missing the boat regarding Hamas in the south. 

This will not stop the IDF from invading Gaza, but it may have caused a delay to better double-check signs regarding Hezbollah’s intentions as well as to further reinforce the northern forces in case the worst comes to pass.

There is also a deepening recognition in the IDF and at the political level, that the IDF has not done anything like this in decades, and that rushing in unprepared, simply to more quickly satisfy the wider population’s thirst for retribution, could be a large mistake.

In this perspective, the 2006 Second Lebanon War ground invasion was a complete mess, with the airpower being the successful part, with both the 2008-9 and 2014 invasions of Gaza being more symbolic.

In other words, with all of the many „rounds“ of conflict, the IDF should not be overconfident about its talent at conducting large land invasion operations.

Strategy against Hamas

While achieving strategic „surprise“ would be impossible given that Hamas started this war, the IDF would also like to achieve at least a tactical surprise against Hamas, which requires planning.

A number of other delaying factors could be US pressure to avoid civilian casualties, domestic concerns about Israeli hostages in Gaza, and giving more time for Palestinians to evacuate.

Another factor is the US and world response to date.

Currently, Israel feels huge support and like it has more time to work with to deal with Hamas. 

One question that arises at this point though is whether top IDF and civilian leaders are misjudging the clock.

According to Hamas‘ numbers, already a couple thousand Palestinians are dead and many more wounded. In 2014, when 2,000 Palestinians were killed, at least half were civilians despite the IDF’s attempts to avoid civilian casualties.

Such is the fog of war.

The second that those numbers balloon, which will likely be when the invasion starts in a real way, there will be powerful US and world pressure to stop.

Also, the Post has confirmed from many sources that no one has yet decided what will happen to Gaza after the IDF will supposedly topple Hamas‘ rule.

This and all of the other above factors have left top Israeli officials huffing and puffing for new superlatives for what they will do to Hamas…while still basically having done very little new for about a week.

Only after the war will we know whether this extra time was spent wisely crafting a smarter and more effective invasion and post-invasion plan, or whether the delay will be looked back on as having wasted precious days to „change the reality in Gaza“ and avoid future near term Hamas attacks.

Biden reiste persönlich nach Israel, auch um da bei Kriegsziel- und Strategiefragen ein Wort mitzureden:

“US pressing Israel to devise strategy for scenario of Hamas’s rule being toppled

PM’s inner circle has indicated that it hasn’t thought that far ahead, leading US officials to warn that failing to do so could result in IDF being bogged down in Gaza indefinitely

By Jacob Magid 17 October 2023, 2:26 am 0

US President Joe Biden’s administration has privately been pressing Israel in recent days to flesh out its strategy for the day after it completes its stated war goal of toppling Hamas, a US official and an Israeli official told The Times of Israel on Monday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his inner circle have indicated to their American counterparts that Israel has not yet come up with such a strategy and is more focused on the immediate goal of removing Hamas from power in Gaza, the US official said.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told CNN on Sunday, “We’re not thinking now what will happen the day after the war… We need to win this war, and that’s the only thing that we’re focused on.”

The US official speaking with The Times of Israel cautioned against this approach. Without a strategy for who will control the Strip instead of Hamas, the IDF is more likely to get bogged down in Gaza indefinitely, despite Israel insisting that it does not want to reoccupy the enclave.

An Israeli official told The Times of Israel that National Unity party chair Benny Gantz and fellow faction member Gadi Eisenkot demanded the creation of a Gaza exit strategy upon their entry into the government last week and that the pair have tasked a committee with drawing one up.US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet at the IDF’s Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv Monday. He reportedly urged Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza in order to maintain international support for the IDF’s military operation aimed at dismantling Hamas.

“The Biden administration understands the need to dismantle Hamas and stresses that one of the ways to make sure there is enough time to do it is by avoiding a humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” a senior Israeli official told the Axios news site

Israel has largely held off on allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza, as it seeks to pressure Hamas to release the 200 to 250 hostages being held in the Strip.

Netanyahu is also concerned that some in his hardline coalition will oppose allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza and that it could spark public backlash in Israel, Axios reported.

Blinken later announced that the US and Israel were developing a plan to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, and said Biden would discuss the plan when he visits Israel on Wednesday.

Blinken was in Israel Monday for the second time since the war broke out on October 7 when at least 1,500 Hamas terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing 1,300 people, mostly civilians, and seizing 200 to 250 hostages of all ages. The group also launched a deluge of thousands of rockets at Israeli towns and cities, which has persisted since, sending Blinken to a bomb shelter at least once during his trip.

Entire families were executed in their homes, and over 260 were slaughtered at an outdoor festival, many amid horrific acts of brutality by the terrorists, in what Biden has highlighted as “the worst massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust.”

Der ehemalige US-General und CIA- Chef David Petreaus fordert auch eine Postkriegsvision, vergleicht den Einsatz mit dem Kampf gegen den IS in Mossul, der aber 9 Monate dauerte und bezweifelt, dass Israel soviel Zeit dafür aufbringen und durchhalten könne, zumal nicht klar sei, was dann an dem dann jeweiligen The Day after sei:

“Hamas terrorists still roaming southern Israel, IDF assesses

Former CIA director David Petraeus compared a ground offensive in Gaza to the fight against ISIS in Mosul.

By REUTERS, JERUSALEM POST STAFF OCTOBER 17, 2023 16:51 Updated: OCTOBER 18, 2023 11:48

There are still Hamas terror cells roaming the Negev region and waiting to come out of their hiding spots and attack civilians, according to an assessment made by the IDF on Wednesday morning.

There is also fear of attacks on the Egyptian border, according to the same report.

The Israeli military is getting ready for the next phase of its campaign against the Gaza Strip but plans may not conform to widespread expectations of an imminent ground offensive, the IDF’s International spokesperson said on Tuesday.

„We are preparing for the next stages of war. We haven’t said what they will be. Everybody’s talking about the ground offensive. It might be something different,“ Lt.-Col. Richard Hecht told a regular briefing with reporters.

Hecht’s comments came as Israeli forces continued to prepare to expand the offensive against Hamas after its deadly assault on southern Israel last week.

As the region and the world continue waiting to see how the IDF will move forward, analysts and leaders have noted a series of challenges a ground offensive would face and have warned that Israel must think of what to do after ‚defanging‘ Hamas.

Former CIA director urges Israel to consider ‚day after‘

Former CIA director and retired US Army Gen. David Petraeus noted in an interview with CBS News on Monday that Gaza City is similar in size to Mosul, Iraq, which was an ISIS stronghold, and that Israel could face similar challenges if it enters Gaza.

“Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu would be well-advised to not only say what they are going to try to do to Hamas,” former Army General David Petraeus says, but also lay out a plan for the future of Gaza, ahead of an expected Israeli ground invasion of the territory.

— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) October 16, 2023

Petraeus added that Hamas will have booby-trapped much of Gaza in anticipation of a ground offensive. „If the mission is to destroy Hamas, which is what we’ve heard, that’s a military term, it means doctrinally that you have to render the enemy incapable of accomplishing his mission without reconstitution.“

„If you go in, at some point in time, if you’re going to destroy every one of these headquarters, bases, facilities, capture or kill the senior leaders and do the same with the rank and file, true extremists, think about what that requires,“ he said.

„A similar sized population, Mosul, when the Islamic State occupied it in northern Iraq, and ISIS is a good analogy here for what Hamas has done; it took nine months to clear that – Israel doesn’t have nine months obviously.“

The former CIA director stressed to CBS News that Israel needs to think of the post-conflict goals as well. „The military is probably also saying ‚and then what? How did that work out in Iraq?'“

„I was a two-star (general officer), I remember asking before we went to Baghdad ‚excuse me, could we have a little more detail on what happens after we get to Baghdad and topple the regime,‘ and they said ‚you just get us to Baghdad, they will take it from there,‘ Petraeus said.

„We obviously had done inadequate post-conflict. There needs to be a vision for that. I think that Prime Minister Netanyahu would be well advised to not only say what they’re going to try to do to Hamas, but also to talk about the future of Gaza and the future of the Palestinian people,“ he said.

„They don’t want to reoccupy, but if you don’t reoccupy, Hamas will reconstitute. So you’re going to go through an enormous loss, casualties, and then you’re just going to leave? I’m sure they’re searching for that answer.“

Zum einen erklärt die IDF, dass man vielleicht doch keine Bodenoffensive als ersten Schritt durchführen werde, zum anderen erklärtes den Gazakrieg zu einer „globalen Angegelegenheit“, die entscheiden werde, wie die Region in Zukunft aussehe:

“IDF: Status of post-war Gaza will be ‚global issue‘

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit chief also stated that, ‚Lebanon should ask itself whether to risk endangerment for Hezbollah.‘

By REUTERS, JERUSALEM POST STAFF OCTOBER 17, 2023 10:42 Updated: OCTOBER 17, 2023 16:25

The head of the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit said on Tuesday that the status of the Gaza Strip after Israel’s planned ground assault on the Palestinian enclave would be a „global issue“ for discussion by Israel’s politicians and with other countries.

„We’ve had all kinds of end games,“ Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari told media during a news briefing, in response to a question about whether Israel’s military planned to stay and govern Gaza after its ground invasion.

„The cabinet is also discussing what that could look like … this is also a global issue, what the situation will look like in this region,“ he said.

Gestern habe ich noch im Halbschlaf die Berichte von der Bombadierung des Krankenhauses in Gaza gesehen. Endlosschleife auf Al Jazzerra und BBC. Die Hamas, die UNO und viele arabische Staaten verurteilten Israel, Israel behauptet, dass es eine fehlgeleitete Rakete des Islamischen Jihads war. Abbas sagt das Treffen mit Biden ab, fordert einen Waffenstillstand. Jordanien hat das Quartetttreffen ebenso abgesagt.Massenrpoteste in Marokko, Jordanien und Ramallah. Die Bilder von den israelischen Opfern des Hamasmassakers scheinen nun durch Bilder und Berichte über zivile Opfer im Gaza , angeblich 500 tote Zivilisten in dem Krankenhaus überschattet und schon fast vergessen. Unklar, wie es genau weitergeht.

Ein Orientalistikprofesoor meinte noch dazu:

„Ich habe auch Al Jazeera und BBC geschaut, denn in deutschen Nachrichten redet man über diese Dinge so wenig wie möglich. Netanyahu wacht wohl jetzt aus seinem Traum von einer einfachen Bodenoffensive auf. Konsequenz wird sein, dass man versucht die Hamas auszuhungern und weiter zu bombardieren. Die werden sich allerdings in ihren Tunneln erhebliche Vorräte angelegt haben.

Wie wird also die Rechnung sein? Warten bis der body-count auf 10:1 tote Palästinenser zu toten Israelis kommt? Das wäre in etwa die Ratio, die man in früheren Kriegen angesteuert hat. Hieße ca. 15.000 Tote. Das dauert noch etwa einen bis zwei Monate, wenn nicht noch mehr Krankenhäuser drankommen oder Menschen verhungern oder verdursten. In letzterem Fall geht es schneller.  Die Hamas macht danach allerdings weiter.“

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