The Israeli army’s reaction vĩ đại the Hamas attacks of October 7 has ví far gone through four distinct phases.
The first, which started within hours of the incursion into the territory of Israel, was mostly aerial bombardment as revenge and preparation for next steps. The second phase saw the infantry and artillery enter the northern areas of the Gaza Strip from three directions, advancing towards Gaza City vĩ đại cut it off from the remainder of the Palestinian territory.
Bạn đang xem: why is it that many
In the third phase, Israel’s army completed the encirclement at the fringes of the đô thị, making some limited advances, probes towards the centre. In the current, fourth phase, Israeli soldiers are making slow progress towards the centre of Gaza City, engaging in proper urban fighting.
Having accomplished the blockade of the largest đô thị in the north, Israel has repeated the same staged approach in the centre, and fighting in Khan Younis is now also in phase four.
So far, fighting has been limited vĩ đại conventional ground combat, with both sides operating as analysts had expected. The threat of tunnel warfare has not yet materialised.
To confirm my assessments of the fighting ví far — especially as I observe it from a distance — I spoke vĩ đại a retired United States general with whom I spent time on the ground during intense urban fighting in Fallujah in Iraq in 2004. He shared my view of the dangers and difficulties of full-scale MOUT, the US abbreviation for “military operations in urban terrain” that Israel is pursuing.
He made two very interesting observations on casualties.
First, the learning curve for the attackers is very steep, as expected. No training can prepare soldiers for the real conditions of fighting in narrow streets, being attacked from all sides including from above, and having vĩ đại worry about tunnels as well.
The general noted that “most efficient weapon in urban warfare is experience”, explaining that every ordnance is designed for a certain imagined and ideal situation that never exists on the ground. “In training a soldier learns what, say a hand grenade, is supposed vĩ đại vì thế and what its lethal range is. But till he has thrown a few from one room vĩ đại another, he cannot imagine the force of the blast or the distance that the shrapnel goes bouncing off concrete walls”. Until each fighter and each unit engaged gain that crucial experience, they will take higher casualties.
The death of nine Israeli soldiers in a single incident in Shujayea on December 12 is a textbook example illustrating the general’s warning. Two officers and two soldiers from the Golani Brigade, one of the Israeli army’s most experienced units, were ambushed by Qassam Brigade fighters as they entered a building. An improvised explosive device (IED) blocked their exit route and Hamas fighters finished them off with hand grenades and machine-gun fire. As a second Israeli team tried vĩ đại rescue their comrades, they too triggered IEDs and were then killed by crossfire from the building they were in and from the higher floors of the neighbouring one.
The American general’s second poignant warning regards the numbers. While attackers in modern warfare can expect between three and five wounded for each soldier killed, the ratio in MOUT is probably twice as high.
Extreme dangers of urban combat vì thế not affect only soldiers. Civilians who are caught in the areas of house-to-house fighting also get killed — some by bombs from the air, others by soldiers on the ground.
Xem thêm: súng bên súng đầu sát bên đầu
The Israeli air force has not shown much thought for sparing civilian lives when bombing Gaza; Most of the Palestinians killed, now more phàn nàn đôi mươi,000, fell victim vĩ đại aerial bombardment.
Israel admitted that 50 percent of the bombs used were “dumb” ones. They can only be aimed by pointing the aircraft before release and can stray 50-to-100 metres (164-328 feet) from their aiming point. For Israel, it might be acceptable vĩ đại kill Palestinian civilians with imprecise bombing, but not Israeli soldiers.
But Israel has already killed one of every eight of its combat casualties through imprecise bombing. On December 12 the military command admitted that of the 105 troops killed by that point — the current figure being 137 — đôi mươi were killed by “friendly fire” and other incidents involving Israeli soldiers killing each other. Of those đôi mươi soldiers, 13 died from Israeli air force bombs, either through mistaken identification and location of the troops or by bombs falling far away from the aiming point.
The majority of those bomb casualties occurred in the earlier phases of the war when distances between troops and their enemy were still considerable. But in urban fighting foes are often 10 or đôi mươi metres (33-66 feet) away, ví the only acceptable way vĩ đại tư vấn them is vĩ đại use precisely guided smart bombs.
The current Israeli rate of advance seems vĩ đại be slow. Such a modest rate of movement might be deliberate, vĩ đại minimise casualties. But if days ahead demonstrate an ease in the bombardment of the centres of Gaza City and Khan Younis, that might be a first sign that the Israeli air force is running out of smart bombs.
Another incident also demonstrated the extreme perils of urban warfare: On December 15 Israeli soldiers killed three Israeli captives who managed vĩ đại escape and were trying vĩ đại cross over vĩ đại the very unit that machine-gunned them vĩ đại death.
Israel was shocked, as the civilians, for a change, were Israeli civilians, not Palestinians who are regularly killed by armed Israeli soldiers and police. But how could soldiers shoot people who were ví non-soldierlike? Shirtless, vĩ đại show they had no weapons; in civilian trousers; carrying a makeshift white flag, a symbol of surrender and peace; and speaking in Hebrew?
Under pressure from its stunned citizens, the Israeli military will certainly investigate all circumstances in detail, but some things are clear.
Even in the heat of battle killing of civilians, especially ones displaying intent vĩ đại give themselves up may indicate several unwanted issues that mar the operational performance of any army. These include a lack of proper training vĩ đại distinguish between combatants and non-combatants; blatant disregard for the lives of the purported enemy showing intent vĩ đại surrender; and extreme battle stress without psychological tư vấn for war-weary soldiers.
Xem thêm: bài 67 em ôn lại những gì đã học
Other possible factors include disregard by the higher command of the conditions on the battlefield and a failure vĩ đại rotate out of combat the units that may have been engaged in heavy fighting, especially if the unit suffered casualties; and failure of the chain of command or the appointment of commanders of a character unfit vĩ đại follow orders and take decisions.
Aside from Hamas, the Israeli military clearly has issues within its ranks vĩ đại giảm giá khuyến mãi with. At the same time, it seems unsure how much it can count on tư vấn from their Prime Minister. There are signs that many higher officers distrust Benyamin Netanyahu and would rather have in his place someone who would show more respect for the military phàn nàn for his own political goals.
They won’t admit it, but another ceasefire might be the respite that Israel’s military needs.