New phase of the war in Gaza

The declared “3rd phase” of the war in Gaza begins. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is increasingly demobilizing many brigades, especially reserves, taking advantage of the fact that Hamas resistance in the north of the Strip appears to have weakened. The aim is to reduce the intensity of the conflict and give soldiers some breathing room, as US President Joe Biden has long suggested. Military leaders in Tel Aviv have made it clear that the war will be prolonged, and so we need to start reducing our forces economically as well.

It is unknown how long this phase will last. Maybe six months, maybe more. Much will depend on Hamas’s ability to rise again from the intense and devastating raids and occupation by Israeli troops, the first two phases of the conflict. Israeli media reported that Hamas launched sporadic attacks by small units in northern Gaza after the two brigades were decimated. The IDF’s other offensive operations focus on refugee camps in the central Strip and the Khan Younis region, but pose less risk to Tel Aviv soldiers. At least for now.

The new phase also appears to be a way to respond to pressure from the United States, which has long called for a reduction in large-scale attacks and civilian casualties. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is expected to arrive in the region in the coming days with stops in Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Qatar. The aim is to find a diplomatic solution that will prevent the war from inflaming the entire Middle East; It’s a possibility Biden wants to avoid, given the tough campaign for his re-election to the White House.

At this very time, news comes from the USA about the return of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford and other US warships, which were deployed in the Middle East after the terrorist attack on October 7. The Israeli newspaper writes that this may be an olive branch extended to Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah, but it may also be an error of judgment Haaretz.

Of course, this move will not please the far-right wing of Netanyahu’s government, whose stance on the future administration of Gaza and West Bank settlements is at the root of disagreements with Washington. Israel’s prime minister appears to be in trouble: The year began with the Supreme Court loudly rejecting Netanyahu’s tightly enforced justice reform; This reform caused divisions in politics and society, even within the armed forces. According to IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari, such rifts may have even “influenced” Hamas’ decision to attack Israel on October 7.

Source: Today IT