With ground operations commencing this Friday the Israeli forces were reminded of the harsh realities of war after suffering significant casualties in the past 36 hours.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz confirmed the death of 11 Israeli soldiers during the ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, including nine soldiers who were in an armored carrier that was struck by an anti-tank missile.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) released the identities of ten of its soldiers who lost their lives during confrontations in the northern Gaza Strip while the IDF’s ongoing ground operation on Wednesday morning. Those named were Lt. Ariel Reich, 21, from Jerusalem; Cpl. Asif Luger, 21, from Yagur; Sgt. Adi Danan, 20, from Yavne; Staff-Sgt. Halel Solomon, 20, from Dimona; Staff-Sgt. Erez Mishlovsky, 20, from Oranit; Staff-Sgt. Adi Leon, 20, from Nili; Cpl. Ido Ovadia, 19, from Tel Aviv; Cpl. Lior Siminovich, 19, from Herzliya; Staff-Sgt. Roei Dawi, 20, from Jerusalem; and 2nd-Lt. Pedaya Mark, from Otniel.
Additionally, on the previous day, two soldiers from the 77th Battalion lost their lives when their tank encountered an anti-tank device.
While Israel’s ongoing incursion into Gaza persists, there seems to be a shift in their approach, with advances coming from multiple directions for the first time. It remains uncertain whether these maneuvers are still reconnaissance-based or if Israel has opted for a phased ground invasion, gradually escalating its military presence over time.
For the Israeli military, this cautious strategy could be more pragmatic than an immediate full-scale offensive. Adapting tactics in response to the daily developments on the ground allows successful methods to be applied in other areas. Moreover, from a political standpoint, this approach provides military leaders with the opportunity to assess the evolving position of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In previous conflicts, the majority of Israelis stood united, refraining from excessively questioning their government. Presently, many are pointing fingers at Netanyahu for the October 7 assaults. He staunchly maintains that “this is a time for war.”
Although his reference was likely directed at the Israeli southern front in Gaza, his unwavering stance might potentially lead to the initiation of another conflict in the north.
Meanwhile, a widespread strike is underway across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as a form of protest against the ongoing Israeli offensives in Gaza. Over 8,500 individuals have lost their lives in Gaza, while 128 Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed since October 7.
This work stoppage has halted all facets of daily life, resulting in the shutdown of universities, banks, and businesses. Furthermore, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Society, at least 70 Palestinians were arrested during Israeli operations in the West Bank on 31 October.