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All of Israel’s calculations lie in ruins

January 23, 2024 at 9:21 am

The Israeli army evacuates its soldiers who were wounded in battles in Gaza via a helicopter for medical treatment at Beilinson Hospital near Tel Aviv, Israel on December 18, 2023 [Nir Keidar/Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s withdrawal of Division 36 from Gaza will not be the last withdrawal, as with the start of the Israeli ground offensive 20 days after the devastating Al-Aqsa Flood Operation, and with the mad rush to destroy all of Gaza, both humans and stones, they increased the number of invading forces until they reached about six divisions, with more than 120,000 soldiers, most of them elite brigades. Today, that number has been reduced to half after the occupation army’s human losses doubled and it suffered accumulated failure in the northern Gaza Strip and the central camps. Moreover, it continues to fail in Khan Yunis, the capital of the south, despite the genocidal holocausts it is committing, with 100,000 Palestinians falling victim to them, between those killed, wounded, or missing under the rubble. Moreover, they displaced two-thirds of the population of Gaza, with more than a million Palestinians being displaced to Rafah in the south.

The astonishing irony in everything that has happened and is happening is that the Palestinian people, who were left alone by those closest to them, except for a few, are the ones who made the difference with their legendary steadfastness, and the resistance factions made a difference with their remarkable ingenuity. The American-Israeli enemy is now in the position of defeat in the war that is ending its fourth month without achieving any of its stated goals. It hasn’t been able to uproot Hamas, or even weaken it, nor was it able to free its captives using armed force. Moreover, it hasn’t managed to win the media war and psychological battles, despite the huge differences in weapons, capabilities and the latest technology which are in favour of the invaders. Instead, it only managed to commit thousands of genocidal massacres against innocent, defenceless civilians, especially children, infants and women.

READ: Israel forces storm Khan Yunis Hospital in bloodiest fighting of 2024

The resistance has displayed an extremely superior fighting doctrine. It films many of its battles with sound and video, thus intensifying the psychological and popular pressure on the Israeli governments both in Tel Aviv and Washington; dashing their hopes of creating any impression of an existing or potential victory.

The resistance implemented its precise attack plan on the morning of 7 October and proved that it prepared and implemented an effective defensive plan to confront the ground raids that it had expected in advance, while the Israeli enemy was suffering from confusion. The enemy believed that it would only be a few days or weeks before everything was over and they used everything in the American-Israeli military arsenal without achieving anything they wanted. Instead, they got lost in the muddy maze and were forced to change their military plans each day.

The belief was always that Israel knew what it wanted and that its dependence on American support guaranteed it decisive victory in lightning wars. However, the Israelis were surprised and shocked by what happened, as this is the longest continuous and consecutive Arab-Israeli war, and the Arab side is represented only by the Palestinian resistance factions. They had wanted it to be a war that would exhaust the energy of popular Palestinian steadfastness, and burn the Palestinian consciousness by pushing it towards a new Nakba and displacing the Palestinians from their lands, as was the case in the Nakba of 1948, but the Israeli-American policy-makers overlooked the fact that the situation had completely changing and that that Palestinian people learned the lesson of the first Nakba a long time ago. They knew that leaving their beloved land would mean they would not return and that the enemy is not an invincible force. Israel has not won any war that followed the 1967 aggression, neither in the war of attrition on the Egyptian front, nor in the 1973 war, or in the war in Lebanon and its south. Nor did it win the multiple wars against Gaza.

The accumulation of the new Palestinian awareness, with the doubling of the number of Arab residents in all of historic Palestine, and it is exceeding the numbers of Jews brought to settle, who then fled through reverse migration, have all had a tangible effect in the shift in its image.

The new Palestinian generations have become increasingly aware of the reality of the present time, their creative struggle based on the most educated environment in the entire Arab world, the fierceness of the adversities they faced that made them capable individuals, and the involvement of many in a wave of resistance of a different kind, which developed from confronting the highest technological value possessed by the enemy with the sense of martyrdom that is the highest human value, and by acquiring weapon technology that challenges the enemy’s technology. Hence, the new resistance reduced the differences in the enemy’s technological superiority, while supplementing the combat doctrine which has a martyrdom nature with creative arts, until the new resistance turned into an invincible force, and its level of self-confidence increased steadily, reaching its peak after proving its ability to strategically deceive and humiliate the enemy army in the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation. It managed to infiltrate its superior technological fortifications and drag it into the maze of death in Gaza, in which the enemy appeared arrogant, boasting its equipment and numbers above ground, while the resistance suddenly appeared like ghosts from unexpected places.

READ: Gantz: Israel soldiers are dying in battlefield

They emerged from cities of underground tunnels, which were dug based on brilliant engineering, and every time the enemy thought it figured out the secret and demolished the tunnels it found, others mysteriously appeared. This prompted the New York Times newspaper to announce a few days ago the American and Israeli failure to uncover the maps of the Palestinian tunnels, despite the research that has been nonstop, not stopping for even a day or a minute, using the most advanced military technology. Israel, along with the US, had estimated that the tunnels extended 500 kilometres underground or a little more, while today’s estimates indicate the tunnel networks extend 720 kilometres, making the enemy’s wars endless, perhaps even if the fighting continued for 1,000 days. This escalates the enemy’s state of mental agitation, with the enemy leaders losing their mind, since they started a war that they do not know when it will end, not even roughly.

All of their calculations were ruined and now, in the current dilemma, the Israeli government in Washington is trying in vain to be more sensible and advise the Israeli government in Tel Aviv to gradually withdraw from the war, while Benjamin Netanyahu’s government seems stuck in the maze, and arguments are flaring up between the political level and the military level.

Netanyahu and his most extreme and criminal companions, the likes of Itamar Ben-Gvir, Bezalel Smotrich, Miri Regev and others, sense the end of their government with the imminent defeat. They know that no one will take responsibility for the defeat and are throwing blame on the occupation army and its leaders. They are provoking Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and mocking the Chief of Staff General Herzi Halevi, while the latter is holding them responsible, saying that the political level did not set achievable goals for the war and “military achievements” were lost due to the government’s chaos. Meanwhile, the expanded war council formed by Netanyahu, and joined by the National Unity Party, is also suffering from increasing defections, and its leaders are going against Netanyahu’s will and the will of his ministers, openly participating in demanding Netanyahu’s dismissal, whether because of the failure to reach prisoner exchange deals with Hamas or in response to the opposition’s desire to hold early elections.

The leader of the National Unity Party, Benny Gantz, appears to be reserved in assessing the results of the war, calling for making the goal of returning the captives or hostages the top priority, regardless of the price that Israel must pay, in reference to Hamas’ plan to stipulate stopping the aggression before resuming prisoner negotiations. Meanwhile, Gantz’s colleagues seemed more frank and accepted Israel’s loss. This is being openly supported by Gideon Sa’ar, who rebelled against Netanyahu and left the Likud Party years ago. This is in addition to a petition signed by 176 former Israeli military commanders, all of them calling for an end to the army’s bleeding and reaching a long permanent truce until everything that happened and is happening can be reviewed.

READ: Health situation in Khan Yunis in state of catastrophe, says Gaza Health Ministry

However, Netanyahu is rushing, like a blindfolded bull, to his death in the dustbins of history, and is challenging everyone, including the International Court of Justice (ICJ). He realises that the end of the war will bring the end to his political career and fears the increased popularity of Gantz and his colleagues within Israel. He dreamt and still dreams of the illusion of eliminating Hamas and the resistance brigades, while the most likely outcome of the war seems to be the elimination of Netanyahu.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Al-Quds Al-Arabi on 19 December 2024

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