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Israel’s failure in Gaza

December 6, 2023 at 1:13 pm

Israeli military tanks roll near the fence with the Gaza Strip on December 5, 2023 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

The terrorist state of Israel has completed 60 days of genocidal war against the Palestinians aimed at seizing the besieged Gaza Strip in order to expand illegal Jewish settlements. The number of martyrs exceeds 16,000 — 7,112 of whom were children, and 4,885 of whom were women — with almost 50,000 wounded and 10,000 missing under the rubble. In the occupied West Bank, the number of those martyred, wounded and imprisoned also continues to grow.

Zionist war criminal and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeats day after day that Israel “will use all its strength to destroy Hamas,” a mantra that the Zionists have been using since 1987 when the Islamic Resistance Movement was founded and started to confront the occupation in the First Intifada.

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Israel has since failed in all attempts to destroy Hamas. On each occasion, it has been the Palestinian resistance forces that have emerged stronger, more rooted in the people, better prepared militarily and with important popular support in Gaza, the West Bank and the territories occupied by Israel since 1948.

Meanwhile, the feeling that Israel’s military deterrence is weakening, with no victory and an evident inability to defeat Hamas and the other Palestinian resistance groups is growing within the Israeli public. This feeling has been increasing since the humiliating defeat of the Zionist army in Lebanon in 2006, when its soldiers were driven out by Hezbollah with their tails between their legs.

The military strength of the Zionist army lies in the fact that it attacks Gaza from the air and with heavy artillery and tanks, knowing that the Palestinians in the enclave have no air defence systems. In short, the Israel “Defence” Forces are good at attacking largely defenceless civilians.

However, for Israel to conquer and subdue the territory, no matter how great the destruction and how many people its bombardments kill, it is necessary for its infantry to be on the ground and fight face to face with the resistance fighters. Israeli troops won’t beat Gaza by spending the day in air-cooled armoured vehicles. They have to enter Hamas territory. And this is where things change.

Israel has no information about the number of resistance fighters, their combat training and their defences, including the tunnels. This forces the Zionists to take precautions that they are not used to, but do not prevent casualties among Israeli troops, who are growing in fatigue and distrust of their commanders. The number of “friendly fire” casualties adds to this.

The Zionist soldiers are not only scared, but unable to face a conflict at close quarters against Palestinian fighters without increased alcohol and drug use. This has been reported by the IDF, as well as increased self-harming and suicide, along with mental stress and fear of death in combat. Confidence in the power of their superior military technology is not enough, because it does provide safety when advancing within Gaza.

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The fighters in Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas) and Al-Quds Brigades (Islamic Jihad) are well-trained in guerrilla operations in terrain like Gaza. It is a type of confrontation within which Israeli air support and artillery lose their effectiveness at some point, because they are not able to be used without endangering their own soldiers.

Above all else, and most importantly, Palestinian resistance fighters have both courage and are happy to seek martyrdom. This allows them to maintain their edge as fighters in this war.

The military achievements of the resistance since 7 October have surprised Israel and the world, as have the groups’ technological advances. Sophisticated missiles with ranges of up to 400km are produced in Gaza with technical and material support from the allies of the Resistance Axis. The missiles can bypass Israel’s famed Iron Dome Missile Defence System and reach cities such as Haifa and the capital, Tel Aviv.

Israel has already lost the battle for public opinion with its genocidal offensive against Palestinian civilians. The streets of major cities around the world have witnessed massive demonstrations in support of Palestine and against the terrorist state of Israel. Those taking part include many anti-Zionist Jews — including within Israel itself — repudiating Israel’s crimes under the slogan “Not in our name”.

The six-day truce for humanitarian relief and hostage exchange forced Israel to legitimise Hamas as a belligerent force and testified that the apartheid state had not achieved any of its goals of destroying the resistance movement and taking the hostages home.

The negotiations demonstrated that Hamas is not a defeated enemy, but a resilient adversary, which dictates the terms in negotiations with those sworn to its destruction. Such a situation has caused a huge split in the Zionist command, which is not well-coordinated and weakens in the face of military pressure from Hamas, and internal pressure for an end to the war, the urgent exchange of hostages, and the replacement of Netanyahu.

Even in the face of the high price paid in lives and destruction, the Palestinian resistance groups have destroyed the myth of the invincibility of the Zionist armed forces. It is increasingly clear that Israel is unlikely to beat the resistance on any ground. The released prisoners are a powerful symbol of Hamas’s ability to achieve tangible results and its willingness to fight for the liberation of Palestine. It has re-emerged as the most important Palestinian political and military force in Gaza, the West Bank and the territories occupied by Israel since 1948.

OPINION: History of Gaza, on conquerors, resurgence and rebirth

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.