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Boots on the Ground-Israel's Ground invasion begins

By David Ramati, July 17, 2014

[Editor's note: This was written two days ago and is being published now as an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza has just begun, in light of the fact that ceasefire negotiations fell apart and Hamas renewed rocket fire on Israel ]

There is a lot of talk in Israel and in the international press about an “invasion” or “re-conquest” of Gaza.  In truth, the word “invasion” or “conquest” is hardly applicable in any Israeli operation in Gaza.

The Israeli strategy is one of interdiction rather than invasion.  Of neutralization of potential rather than anything as grandiose as a conquest or re-conquest of the Gaza strip.

 

A quick look at the map will help to understand what “Boots on the Ground” will actually entail.

 

STAGE 1

 

Any first stage will be to interdict the rocket and mortar attacks on Israel.  This would be a massive movement of Israeli ground forces into Northern Gaza, penetrating as deep as Shati Camp by the ocean, Gaza City (but not entering Gaza city) in the center, and on the West, near the Israeli border, creating a corridor extending from Gaza city to Karni.

 

The effect of this first stage would be to deny the terrorists the ability to maximize the range of their rockets and to bring their long range 81 mm mortars into play.  Every kilometer under IDF control places Israel’s strategic coastal cities that much more out of reach from short and medium range HAMAS rocket fire.

The ground forces would stop at this point and the struggle would be become political in nature.  New negotiations would be implemented by the international community on conditions for a cease-fire. 

If negotiations break down then the IDF Ground Forces would be forced to implement Stage 2.

 

STAGE 2

 

Again, calling attention to the map, Stage 2 would consist of an Israeli drive which would push to the sea from the Israeli border creating an Israeli controlled corridor stretching from Karni in the North to Bureij Camp in the south and on to the Sea; effectively cutting the Gaza strip into two slices:  Northern Gaza up to Gaza City, under Israeli control, leaving Gaza City untouched but cut off, and the rest of Gaza from Deir Al Ballah to the Egyptian border, isolated from Hamas command centers and fighters operating out of Gaza City.

 

STAGE 3

Once again, there would be a pause for negotiations.  If the negations failed then a final Israeli thrust, Stage 3, would push from Sufa in the border to the sea, Isolating Khan Younis and Deir Al Balah from Rafa and Egypt.  At this point, a combination of siege and surgical attacks on the three vastly weakened areas still under Hamas control would effectively finish this round of the struggle leaving the international community a fine mess to clean up as the Israeli army withdraws after an imposed settlement on both sides.
This careful strategy would allow for step-by-step negotiations and minimalize Israeli losses while interdicting much of the HAMAS ability to continue what has become almost  unrestricted rocket bombardments of Israeli cities.

At any one of these stages, the HAMAS could call for a HUDNA, as we are already hearing about in the media.  But let no one fool himself, hudna does not mean a truce, as we know it in the western world.

A hudna, typically covering 10 years, obliges the parties to use the period to seek a permanent, nonviolent resolution to their differences.  Like all things in the area there is, however a “Catch 22” since the ultimate purpose of a hudna is for the non-Muslim party to accept subjugation under the rule of Sharia under which they will “pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).

In other words, it is simply a lulling of hostilities on the road to Hamas's plan for the complete destruction of Israel as Jewish state.

 
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