In the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, tension escalates as Israel's Defense Forces reveal their readiness for a potential ground operation in Gaza, pending government approval. An emergency war cabinet, inclusive of opposition leader Benny Gantz alongside Prime Minister Netanyahu, has been convened, signaling a united front in charting the course of action. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also assumes a pivotal role in this decision-making process, according to media reports.
Lt. Col. Richard Hecht disclosed that the forces are actively preparing for a ground maneuver, further indicating the possibility of a substantial ground incursion into Gaza. This strategic move is reminiscent of Israel's actions in 2008 and 2014, according to experts. A ground offensive, as stated by an Israeli security source, seems increasingly likely.
Reflecting on the historical context, it's important to note that Israel incurred losses of nine soldiers during their 2008 incursion, a number that rose significantly to 66 in the 2014 operation.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has expressed his determination to avenge the Hamas attack and made strong accusations against the group during a televised address. He alleged heinous acts by Hamas militants, claims that have been firmly denied by the organization. US President Joe Biden's statement, seemingly lending credence to Netanyahu's claims, was later clarified by the White House, emphasizing that Biden did not personally confirm reports of the alleged atrocities.
The densely populated nature of Gaza raises concerns about potential casualties on both sides in the event of a ground invasion. Reports suggest that Israel's on-ground preparations indicate a significant and potentially far-reaching military operation, evident in the construction of a military base adjacent to the Gaza Strip for the accommodation of soldiers. The situation remains fluid, with the region bracing for the possibility of intensified conflict.