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Business News/ News / World/  Israel-Gaza war: Risks and challenges of ground invasion amid 21st century's deadliest conflict with Hamas

Israel-Gaza war: Risks and challenges of ground invasion amid 21st century's deadliest conflict with Hamas

Israel-Gaza war news: Israel-Gaza war enters twentieth day with increasing death toll in Gaza. Israeli airstrikes in Gaza seen as collective punishment, deadliest conflict for Palestinians. Concerns over potential ground invasion in Gaza and increased resistance from Hamas

Israel-Gaza war news: Smoke rises above buildings during an Israeli air Stike on Rafah in southern Gaza Strip (AFP)Premium
Israel-Gaza war news: Smoke rises above buildings during an Israeli air Stike on Rafah in southern Gaza Strip (AFP)

Israel-Gaza war news: The war between Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas fighters from the Gaza Strip has entered its twentieth day. The death toll in the populated Gaza strip increased to 7,028, Israel informed that they had unleashed a ground invasion in Gaza targeting alleged Hamas hideouts.

What began as a retaliatory attack by Israel on Hamas fighters after the latter launched a surprise land-air-water attack on 7 October, has now turned into a humanitarian crisis.

The enclave that was already reeling from a dire economic situation has been left struggling for survival. To the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli bombardment is a collective punishment for the Hamas attack.

According to reports, since Hamas fighters raided Israel on 7 October, killing roughly 1,400 people according to the Israeli government, the Israeli military says it has struck more than 7,000 targets inside Gaza. That is a higher number than in any previous Israeli military campaign in the territory, New York Times reports.

It also outstrips the most intense month of the United States-led bombing campaign against ISIS, according to Airwars, a British conflict monitor.

Israel-Gaza war: Collective punishment and deadliest conflict

While initial support from Western powers was for Israel, not deferring from the same, they have decried the civilian casualty in the Gaza region.

To the Palestinians the airstrikes, even though termed ‘targeted’ by Israel, are vengeful and unfocused, killing Gazans from across a wide spectrum of civilian life and destroying residential areas.

The Gaza Health Ministry has informed that Israeli airstrikes has killed over 7,000 people in Gaza, a number which if verified would make this the deadliest conflict for Palestinians since at least the Lebanon war of 1982.

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Israel-Gaza war: Necessary defense

Even though Israel suffered a death toll of 1,400 in the hands of Hamas fighters, and residents of Israel seek a ground offensive to seek vendetta, they do not trust PM Netanyahu to carry out the operation, according to a survey quoted by The Verge.

To Israelis, there is a necessity and a method to their strikes, which they say are not about retaliation but defense. The campaign, Israeli officials say, is focused on degrading Gazan military infrastructure that is often built near homes and civilian institutions, NYT report states.

Israel-Gaza war: How ground invasion changes everything?

Israel's threat of ground invasion has been looming for a week, however, the Netanyahu cabinet has not yet sanctioned a complete ground invasion. Three weeks after the Hamas attacks, Israel has yet to respond with its promised ground incursion.

More than 350,000 reservists were called to arms and the relentless bombing of Gaza started immediately after 7 October.

While at first glance a ground invasion would look more targeted sparing the civilians, analysts have pointed out that a ground invasion of Gaza could be even bloodier than the air war. They argue that strikes that ease an Israeli ground advance will help reduce the loss of life for Palestinian civilians and Israeli soldiers alike, once the invasion begins.

Even as Israel has used precision weapons, it has maintained a broad definition of what forms a military target. Fighter jets wrecked the Islamic University in Gaza because Israel said the campus had been used to train intelligence operatives. They have targeted mosques that Israel says served as weapons depots and operation centers. And they have targeted Hamas commanders in their homes.

However, a ground invasion would also mean increased resistance from Hamas fighters, whose air strikes have allegedly been paralyzed by Israeli Defense Forces.

There has been growing concern in Israel that its troops, despite their technical superiority over Hamas’s armed wing, will become locked in a bloody urban war after they invade.

Tens of thousands of Hamas gunmen are thought to be lying in wait, most of them in the group’s sprawling tunnel networks, NYT reports.

Analysts expect that Hamas will try to slow Israel’s advance by exploding some tunnels once soldiers are in their vicinity; setting roadside bombs; booby-trapping buildings emerging suddenly from hidden tunnel entrances and ambushing Israelis from behind.

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Sayantani Biswas
Sayantani is an editor with Livemint. She covers stories of International and Indian politics, conflict
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Check all the latest action on Budget 2024 here. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
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Published: 26 Oct 2023, 07:30 PM IST
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