Israel Launches Phased Ground Offensive in Gaza, Ex-US Ambassador Says


Summary: Israel has initiated a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip in a phased approach, rather than a full invasion, according to a former US ambassador to Israel. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been amassing troops at the border and are preparing offensive plans that involve coordinated attacks from air, sea, and land. The decision to proceed in stages is due to concerns about ambushes and the complex tunnel system used by Hamas. As Israel continues its aerial bombardment campaign, there are fears that the conflict may escalate and spread to other fronts.

Israel’s ground offensive into the Gaza Strip may not be a full scale invasion, but will likely unfold in phases, according to former US ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been preparing for a ground operation after gathering troops at the border. The IDF plans to implement a wide range of offensive operative plans, coordinating attacks from the air, sea, and land. Kurtzer explained that the decision to proceed in stages is due to operational reasons, with concerns about ambushes and fighters emerging from the tunnels in Gaza.
Despite the constant air attacks on Gaza, Hamas continues to fire rockets at Israeli cities due to their elaborate tunnel system. The rockets are hidden in underground passageways, frustrating Israel’s air force. The IDF has reported that the tunnels also serve as storage for supplies and operational facilities for Hamas’ underground army. The challenges of engaging in an urban environment contribute to Israel’s caution in conducting a ground invasion.
The timing of the ground attack remains uncertain, with Kurtzer stating that it can happen at any moment. Keeping Hamas off balance and maintaining operational surprise are factors that Israel considers. Additionally, the IDF ordered the evacuation of 1.1 million residents in northern Gaza for their safety. The continuing aerial bombardment campaign by Israel has raised concerns about the conflict escalating and spreading to other fronts.
Iran has warned of the potential expansion of the Israel-Hamas conflict if Israel does not cease its attacks on Gaza. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi stated that the situation would worsen and the war could spread further. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, also highlighted the increasing likelihood of an expansion of the war and the diminishing prospects for political solutions. The death toll stands at over 1,400 people killed in Israel and nearly 2,700 people killed in Gaza so far.

Tags: Israel, Gaza Strip, ground offensive, IDF, Hamas, tunnels, aerial bombardment, escalation, Iran, death toll