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Opinion: The Gaza terror offensive



WHAT HAS HAPPENED?


Israel – Iran:


Over the past six weeks there has been an escalation in Israeli air strikes against Iranian, Hezbollah, and other pro-Iranian militia locations in Syria. The most powerful strike, on 1 April, killed the commander, the deputy commander, and several staff members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard force coordinating the actions of all the allied and proxy Iranian forces operating against Israel. These are the highest-ranking Iranian officers to have been killed since the 2020 assassination by the US of Qassem Soleimani, who was chief of the Iranian al-Quds organization and responsible for all Iranian operations outside Iran aimed at the US, Israel, and pro-western Arab states. The targets of the 1 April strike were convening in a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus. The Iranians claim the building was in fact a consulate, so Israel placed its embassies across the world on alert for a tit-for-tat retaliation.


During the night of 13-14 April, after two weeks of threats, the Iranians retaliated with their first-ever direct attack from Iranian territory into Israel. The operation is called “The True Promise.” According to Israeli officials, Iran launched a barrage containing 185 explosive drones (nicknamed “suicide-drones”), 36 cruise missiles, and at least 110 ballistic missiles. In addition to the direct Iranian action, their various allies and proxies – the Houthis in Yemen, Iraqi Hezbollah forces in Iraq and Syria, and the Lebanese Hezbollah – also fired at Israel.


The attack appeared to involve four waves of launches: two of explosive drones, then the cruise missiles and then the ballistic missiles. The wave sequence, which closely resembles the tactic used by Russia in its strikes on Ukraine, was intended to do two things:

  • First, to deliver the different weapons so their arrival at their targets would be either simultaneous or with only short intervals between them. Each weapon flies at a different speed (drones are the slowest and ballistic missiles the fastest). They may have been flown on different routes to achieve near-concurrent arrival timing.

  • Secondly, to inundate Israel’s anti-rocket/missile defenses; compel it to use up its stores of ready-to-launch interceptor missiles to combat the first, less powerful drones (40-50 kilograms of explosive each) just prior to the arrival of the heavier explosive-payload-carrying missiles (depending on the model, they range from a few hundred to 1,200 kilograms each); and deprive Israel of sufficient time to reload the interceptor batteries before the latter arrived.


To reach Israel from Iran, the drones and missiles flew over Iraq, with some then proceeding through Syria and others through Jordan. Another possible route was over Saudi Arabia, then over southern Jordan or northeastern Egypt, but there have as yet been no reports suggesting the Iranians used this route.


Probable Flight Routes


Israeli defenses contain five layers:

  • The best known is the Iron Dome system, which is optimized to intercept low-flying rockets and certain types of drones. A new variant called the Sea Dome, which is mounted on a ship, was used for the first time a few days ago to defend against drones or missiles launched from Yemen towards the Israeli southern port of Eilat. They participated again during the April 13-14 attack.

  • The Magic Wand system, which works against medium-altitude rockets and missiles. This system first became operational a couple of years ago.

  • The Arrow system, which works against high-altitude missiles. This is the most veteran of Israel’s systems.

  • A new variant of the Arrow system that works against exo-atmospheric missiles.

  • To combat drones, Israel uses fighter aircraft and attack helicopters. Drones are essentially small unmanned aircraft, so shooting them down with other aircraft is a fairly similar process to ordinary air combat. That said, drones are smaller and therefore harder to detect. They are also slower, which requires faster responses by the pilots who must avoid overtaking them before shooting them down. (To stay airborne, aircraft need to maintain a minimum speed, and fighter jets have a higher minimum speed than drones. This is easier for helicopters, but they don’t carry radar and so must conduct visual detection, which is almost impossible at night.) On the other hand, current models cannot conduct evasive maneuvers to throw off the aim of the attacking aircraft.


During the attack of April 13-14, a sixth layer of defense was created by other states supporting Israel. The American and British air forces participated in defending Israel by intercepting drones in Iraqi air space and in eastern Syria. According to reports, they employed fighter aircraft, which suggests that they participated in shooting down drones. French “capabilities” (whatever that means) also participated in defending Israel, and the IDF spokesperson said other unspecified countries participated as well.


Some of the Houthi launches may have been intercepted by American and British warships in the Red Sea firing anti-missile interceptor missiles, which they have been doing for the past few months (perhaps the reference to the French is also in this area?). Jordanian air defenses also reported intercepting a number of drones and/or missiles, and Jordan reportedly allowed Israeli aircraft to enter its airspace to conduct interceptions. It is possible that some of the longer-range Israeli interceptor missiles also overflew Jordan. Israeli aircraft also entered southern Syria to intercept incoming drones before they reached Israeli territory.


The final stage of Israel’s defense was its anti-rocket/missile systems. Apparently, the vast majority of the drones and missiles flying towards and into Israel were shot down. Only a handful landed inside Israeli territory – inside an air force base in southern Israel (causing minimal damage and apparently ineffective, as the base continues to operate as usual). The Iranians claim the air force base was the one from which the Israeli aircraft that attacked their commanders in Damascus took off.


A ten-year-old Israeli Bedouin child living in southern Israel was seriously wounded when fragments hit her head (it is not yet clear if they were fragments from a successful interception or a drone or missile explosion on the ground). There is also a report from Jordan that three civilians were killed and several others wounded by fragments from destroyed drones or missiles falling to the ground. Other interceptions occurred over northern Lebanon with no casualties reported.


According to photographs posted on social media in Iraq, at least one Iranian missile fell inside the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and others in northern Iraq.

The Biden administration is reportedly pressuring Israel NOT to respond to the Iranian attack.


In Israel, the current debate is whether to respond relative to the size of the Iranian attack, or, given its general failure, only relative to its miniscule achievements.


In Iran, the leadership is crowing about a huge success. It is claiming that the attack achieved its purpose and says Iran will now desist unless Israel retaliates.

Billboard in Palestine Square in Tehran: A message to Israel, the caption in Hebrew – “The Next Mistake Will Be the End of Your Fake Country


Forgotten because of the missile attack is the incident of the Iranian military’s hijacking of a container ship because it belongs to a company partially owned by an Israeli. This is not the first such attack – over the past few years, oil-carrying ships have been targeted for hijacking or explosive-drone attack by the Iranians – but it is apparently the first Iranian attack on a ship carrying shipping containers rather than oil.


Israel – Hamas Negotiations:


The negotiations between Israel and Hamas have been stuck for over a month. Hamas continues to demand a total cessation of Israel’s military operations and the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Gaza in return for the hostages. In other words, it demands the ability to rehabilitate its control over Gaza so it can continue to attack Israel. The Israeli government has so far refused to accept these terms. It is willing to exchange some imprisoned Palestinian terrorists (the exact numbers are not clear; before the war there were approximately 5,000 Palestinians in custody for terrorist activity, but during the war many more have been captured – a few thousand in Judea and Samaria and a few thousand in Gaza) and accept a temporary ceasefire only. The issue of whether or not to accept Hamas’s terms has caused friction inside Israel with some groups demanding the government accede to them. According to polls, the majority of Israelis still support the government’s position.


The latest Hamas refusal to accept less than its original demand was received on 13 April, a few hours before the Iranian attack. It can be safely assumed that Hamas leaders are hoping the Israel-Iran confrontation will escalate and save them by forcing Israel to redirect most of its energy away from Gaza to new fronts in Lebanon, Syria and Iran. They have been asking Iran to order a general offensive against Israel since 7 October 2023. The Iranians have consistently refused, agreeing only to the low-intensity offensive described in these reports over the past six months.


Gaza:


Fighting inside Gaza continues as described in previous reports: low intensity guerrilla warfare. Hamas and other groups conduct small-scale raids or ambushes against Israeli units and Israeli forces reciprocate. Israel has withdrawn almost all its forces from the Gaza Strip, including those in the Khan Yunis area. At present, the only permanent Israeli presence is along a line separating the northern Gaza Strip and Gaza City from the rest of the Gaza Strip. Instead of establishing a permanent presence, Israeli forces have launched a number of large raids into areas they had previously vacated. The most important and successful of these was conducted at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.


Acting on information that a group of terrorists had returned to Shifa Hospital to use its facilities, an Israeli force returned to the location and surrounded it. There were about 6,500 civilians in the hospital grounds and at least 600 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists, including several high-ranking officials from the political, administrative and military organs of those organizations. To facilitate the operation, the IDF opened an exit route for the civilians, which included a filtration passage that enabled the detection of terrorists as they attempted to use it to escape. Along the route, leading south from Gaza City along the coast, the IDF placed food and water supplies at a series of locations for civilians to take as they passed. Especially important, given the hot weather (above average for this time of year), was the water.


The Israeli forces operating in the hospital cleared a few buildings (special forces teams combed the buildings room by room) and then brought in medical equipment (respirators, surgical equipment, etc.) and supplies, as well as Israeli doctors and medical staff. They then helped the Palestinian medical staff transfer their patients from other buildings into the cleared ones, and combed the evacuated buildings as well. In two of the buildings fighting intensified as most of the terrorists inside conducted a defensive battle. They were armed with assault rifles, light machine guns, hand grenades and explosive charges, and used hospital machines and other medical equipment to build barricades. These are the two buildings that are shown as severely damaged in media reports.


Meanwhile, other forces from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad assembled from across their hideouts in Gaza City and attempted unsuccessfully to break through the Israeli cordon to reach the hospital.


The battle ended when the last terrorist inside the hospital had been killed or surrendered. All together, inside and outside the hospital about 210 terrorists (including a few suicide bombers) were killed and about 555 surrendered (another approximately 365 individuals were detained and released after it was clarified they were ordinary civilians). As noted, some of those arrested were high-ranking members of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. No civilians were killed in the fighting. Large stockpiles of weapons were captured, as well as the equivalent of about $3.25 million in Israeli shekels, Jordanian dinars and American dollars. Three Israeli soldiers were killed and a few dozen wounded during this battle.


The fact that so many terrorists, senior commanders and officials had congregated in the hospital suggests (as some of them admitted in video recordings of their interrogations) that they felt safe there and were completely surprised by the Israel action.


Simultaneously with the hospital operation, a similar operation was conducted by Israeli forces in Khan Yunis. A neighborhood that had been taken, cleared and evacuated by Israeli forces was raided again, netting dozens of killed or captured terrorists who had returned to the evacuated area.


Also, over the past week, Israeli forces have increased their raids into the Nuseyrat area in central Gaza, between Khan Yunis and Gaza City. To date, Israeli forces have not attempted to conduct a full-scale operation in this area, conducting only limited ground raids and air strikes.


Since the last report more than six weeks ago, 15 Israeli soldiers were killed and approximately 1,000 Hamas and other armed groups’ terrorists were killed.

Over the past couple of months there have been escalating reports of famine in Gaza. The United Nations Secretary General even claimed it to be the worst such situation in his jurisdiction. This is a ridiculous exaggeration. Perhaps he should take a less propagandistic tone and compare the situation in Gaza to actual starvation situations in Yemen and the Horn of Africa.


The problem in Gaza is not a lack of supplies entering it but the deliberate misdistribution of the supplies. Some of that misdistribution is the product of simple incompetence and some is deliberate. Supplies are standing undistributed in UN compounds, or are taken over by Hamas and distributed according to its own priorities. Some are sold instead of distributed, stolen enroute by various factions, or deliberately withheld to create a propaganda show for the purpose of vilifying Israel.


A partial solution has been to parachute aid. This, as noted in a previous report, has its own complications: at least 30 people have been reported killed by parachuted supplies landing on them or in fights over access to the supplies. Twelve people were reported to have drowned trying to retrieve supplies that were accidentally dropped into the sea. These numbers have to be treated with caution – as usual, they are controlled by Hamas itself or by pro-Hamas reporters (especially the local branch of the Qatari Al-Jazeera news/propaganda network).


To summarize: there are definitely insufficient supplies of food in some areas inside the Gaza Strip, but not because of Israel. There are areas where food is sufficient, even plentiful. The problem is internal distribution, which is plagued by a mixture of incompetence, corruption and deliberate actions by Hamas.


Lebanon:


The exchange of fire on the Israel-Lebanon border continues at a varying but fairly low intensity. Over the past few weeks, Israeli attacks have escalated in the choice of targets: they are no longer operating only near the border but are also striking Hezbollah installations in central and northern Lebanon. Hezbollah has responded by increasing the size of its rocket and exploding drone salvos into Israel.

Hezbollah participated in the Iranian retaliation by firing several dozen rockets into northern Israel.


Israeli casualties on the Lebanese border since 7 October have been 20 killed (six of them civilians) and several dozen wounded. All told, since the beginning of the war Hezbollah has fired more than 4,000 rockets and exploding drones into Israel as well as a few hundred guided anti-tank missiles (mostly Kornet, some the latest Russian version with ranges of up to 10 kilometers).


Hezbollah has admitted that 273 of its personnel have been killed so far. This number does not include non-Shiite members of Hezbollah who probably add at least a couple of dozen to the list.


Other Lebanese and Lebanese-based Palestinian organizations have participated in the exchanges and approximately 45 of their members have been killed too. Total Lebanese military casualties are now two killed and half a dozen wounded.

Three UNIFIL troops were wounded in southern Lebanon. Israel was initially blamed for firing at them, but further investigation proved that it was an IED emplaced by a local group, probably Hezbollah. Earlier, in October 2023, another UNIFIL soldier was wounded by a mortar bomb.


Judea and Samaria:


The fighting in Judea and Samaria continues with the IDF intensifying its raids especially in the Jenin area (the northern edge of Samaria). Each IDF entry into Palestinian towns faces varying intensities of resistance, including bombs dug under roads (cleared by bulldozers that tear up the asphalt), rifles, grenades, and improvised hand-thrown bombs as well as petrol bombs.


The Palestinians claim that almost 8,000 people have been arrested but the official Israeli number is only about 3,600, of whom approximately 50% belong to Hamas and the others to other groups. The discrepancy is apparently because the Palestinians count anyone who was detained even if they were released after being questioned. Approximately 425 terrorists have been killed, most during Israeli raids on their bases in the major Palestinian towns and the rest while conducting attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians. The majority of those killed are Hamas and some are Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but quite a few are also from Fatah controlled armed groups. Fatah governs the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria and officially supports the peace treaty with Israel, but unofficially (for deniability purposes) maintains armed groups that conduct terrorist attacks. These are often manned (supposedly when off-duty), funded and trained by the official armed forces of the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians have also reported 4,600 wounded, but have not published details breaking down this number.


Iran and its proxies versus the US and its allies:


Exchanges of fire between the Houthis in Yemen and the combined American and European fleets in the Red Sea have continued unabated, though they remain small-scale. The Houthis continued to attack merchant ships and even succeeded in sinking one. The Americans and British have responded with air strikes on Houthi camps and combat positions, attempting to destroy their launch capabilities. Though they have reported successes, these have not yet reached a level sufficient to force the Houthis to desist from their attacks.


Over this period there has been a general ceasefire by the Iranian proxies against American forces in Iraq, Syria and Jordan. There have been a couple of incidents.


Israeli casualties:


Currently the total number of Israeli casualties for the single day of 7 October is 1,160, which includes civilians, military, police, firefighters, medical personnel, etc. There are still some people unaccounted for, and some of the people kidnapped to Gaza were dead when taken or have died in captivity and are still not confirmed.


After the rescue operation in the heart of Rafah, there are still 132 kidnapped Israelis and non-Israelis in Gaza. How many are alive and how many dead is not known, though the current estimate is that at least 30 are dead and perhaps more. In negotiations with Hamas Israel has demanded a listing of both living and dead hostages, but Hamas has refused to provide any such information.


In addition, 19 Israeli civilians have been killed in Hamas rocket attacks and six by Hezbollah. Another 20 Israelis have been killed and 140 wounded by Palestinians from Judea and Samaria; some Israelis were attacked in Judea and Samaria and some inside pre-1967 Israel by terrorists who managed to infiltrate. The so-called Green Line separating the two areas from 1949 is a tortuous line through hilly and vegetation-covered terrain. Though Israel built a fence along it (called a “wall” by Israel’s detractors, though only 10% is a wall, to prevent direct flat trajectory fire at Israeli villages or roads adjacent to the line) that is constantly patrolled and has electronic surveillance devices, no such protection is ever 100% – especially as in some areas there is a mixed population.


As of 5 April 2024, a total of 604 IDF soldiers have been killed on all fronts since and including 7 October (the number for 7 October is periodically updated as more are confirmed killed who were previously listed as missing).


The total number of Israeli wounded is approximately 14,000. The IDF has published that since the beginning of the war 6,800 soldiers have been admitted to rehabilitation treatments. This suggests that the majority of the 14,000 mentioned above are soldiers, because statistically, if 6,800 need post-injury rehabilitation treatment, there are probably a few thousand very lightly injured who do not.

Initially the number of Israelis who were forced to leave their homes in 64 villages and towns along the borders with Gaza and Lebanon reached approximately 250,000. The number of those returning to their homes has grown, mostly in the areas around Gaza.


Palestinian casualties:


The Gaza Health Ministry, which is controlled by Hamas in its role as the government of Gaza, claims that so far almost 34,000 Gazans have been killed and approximately 76,000 wounded. They do not differentiate between personnel of Hamas and other terrorist organizations and civilians, but according to the IDF, at least 14,000 Hamas and other groups’ terrorists have been killed. The number of estimated wounded has not been updated but is probably similar to the fatalities. Though Hamas reported last month that at least 6,000 of their personnel had been killed, a high-ranking official admitted that actually they do not know the number.


The IDF has also captured many terrorists, though the exact number has not been divulged. From anecdotal information the figure can be estimated at around 3,000, or perhaps as many as 3,500 (about 1,000 more than the last report).


Given that Hamas and the other groups had 40,000 to 50,000 personnel between them (different sources provide different numbers and there is a problem counting part-timers as opposed to regulars or official “reserves”), the figure of almost 30,000 represents a sizeable chunk of their manpower. However, we have no information on recruitment of new personnel, who may be less well-trained but are still adding to the numbers. Hamas youth movements conduct basic firearms training from an early age, so they have a recruitment pool of teenagers available to join the fighting. The incidence of surrendering rather than fighting to the death has increased, indicating morale problems, but the fighting is far from over and the organizations have not yet broken.


The Palestinians have been claiming deaths from starvation but have not yet proven a single case. The only photographs have been shown to be fakes.


WHAT NEXT?


The current situation has been defined by the IDF as “Phase 3” of the Israeli strategy against Hamas. The final goal declared by the Israeli government is still quite a ways off, as Hamas personnel return to every area the Israelis evacuate. This was expected, as in each area, Hamas, after suffering heavy casualties, began to hide rather than fight. The current phase is composed of the raids described above – as Hamas personnel return to an area they are targeted and raided. This does not preclude a major ground operation to reenter and re-clear any chosen area.


The Rafah operation is still on the table. Prime Minister Netanyahu has declared that a date has been set but has not stated what that date is. Part of the withdrawal of IDF units from Khan Yunis was in preparation for this operation, as the units need time to recuperate and plan the attack.


Meanwhile, on the Lebanese border the tit-for-tat exchange of fire continues. Tactically the IDF is winning, as shown by the casualty ratio of more than 15 to 1 in its favor (given the small total numbers, any single addition to the Israeli casualty total significantly changes the ratio). However, strategically, the situation is in Hezbollah’s favor. The approximately 100,000 Israeli civilians from the northern towns and villages who have become refugees inside Israel still cannot return home. For them to return home requires either that Hezbollah agrees to withdraw all its forces at least 10 to 15 kilometers from the border or is forced to do so by an escalated Israeli offensive taking the ground to that depth or more and conducting a massed bombing campaign on Hezbollah’s rear areas. Israeli leaders state they would prefer the diplomatic solution, but if it fails, they will order the military to attack into Lebanon.


The central question now is the continuation of the direct confrontation between Israel and Iran. What will be Israel’s response to the Iranian attack? As noted, the debate inside Israel is whether to respond in a manner commensurate with the size of the attack or commensurate with the size of the results. The United States is very clearly opposed to a powerful Israeli response. Assessing the results of a response is also important. Would there be a repeat performance by Iran? Something much smaller? Something different?


ON THE HUMANITARIAN ISSUE


What is being done to facilitate the supply of humanitarian aid to Gaza? 


The following is from the Israel Foreign Ministry’s page on the issue:


Israel is constantly facilitating humanitarian assistance into Gaza and is working with international stakeholders to advance this objective. At the same time, genuine concern for the humanitarian situation cannot ignore Hamas’s efforts to divert and steal aid, nor can it ignore the fact that the humanitarian threat faced by the Palestinians of Gaza begins from Hamas’s total contempt for Palestinian welfare.


Critically, demanding aid flow into Gaza, without also demanding that Hamas release the supplies it has stolen from the civilian population, is effectively rewarding the reprehensible behavior of Hamas and asking others to ensure that Hamas retains the capacity to launch armed attacks against Israel. 


The current hostilities, which were initiated by Hamas, have resulted in a significant deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The primary cause for the current situation is Hamas’s treatment of the Gazan population during the 16 years it has ruled over them. Hamas has explicitly said that it considers itself to have no responsibility for the care of the population it controls. Hamas has failed to improve the situation of the civilian population, has not invested in critical infrastructure, and did not prepare its population for the inevitable effects of the war it started with Israel. Hamas has continued to invest in its military buildup and its attacks against Israel, using its resources to further this agenda rather than supporting its population.


In the lead-up to the current hostilities, Hamas continued to divert aid intended for the civilian population for terrorist purposes, including by using concrete intended for housing construction to build its massive underground tunnel network. Generous funding provided by the international community to assist the civilian population has ended up in Hamas’s coffers, supporting the luxury lifestyle of its leaders and advancing its terrorist agenda.


By contrast, Israel has continued to directly provide services to Gaza, despite ongoing attacks against it. For example, prior to October 7, Israel supplied 50% of Gaza’s electricity and up to 10% of Gaza’s water. Israel also operated border crossings to facilitate the flow of goods and aid into Gaza. Similarly, prior to the current hostilities, almost 20,000 Gazans entered Israel daily for work.


On October 7, nine of the 10 electricity lines coming in from Israel were hit by Hamas fire. One of the three water pipes from Israel was likewise hit by Hamas fire. [NOTE: One of the pipelines, to central Gaza, has since been repaired and provides some 400,000 people another 42 liters per person per day.] Hamas invaded the Erez Crossing (through which people from Gaza pass into Israel with work permits, for medical treatment and travel purposes, and through which personnel from international organizations pass into Gaza) in the north, murdered and abducted personnel, and caused significant damage. It has put the Kerem Shalom crossing (the crossing through which goods and aid passes through into Gaza) in the south under constant fire.


The humanitarian situation in Gaza has also been affected by Hamas’s placement of rocket launching sites and other military assets within and adjacent to critical infrastructure (see, for example, a rocket launching site adjacent to a water desalination plant funded by the international community), thus willfully exposing them to harm. Hamas hoards supplies such as fuel and has stolen other supplies from international organizations that were intended for the civilian population (as publicly acknowledged by the UN). Hamas has also harmed and even caused the cessation of the provision of medical services in Gaza by using hospitals for military operations, thus necessitating IDF operations at such sites and the evacuation of patients and staff for their safety. Finally, Hamas’s abuse of the civilian environment and use of civilians as human shields results in direct harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure.


As stated clearly and repeatedly by Israel’s senior political and military leadership, Israel does not wish to harm civilians in Gaza and is taking steps to facilitate and expand the flow of aid to the civilian population. Under the law of armed conflict, parties to an armed conflict are required to allow and facilitate access to consignments of supplies essential for the survival of the civilian population if it is not adequately provided. This obligation is subject to important conditions, including that there are no serious reasons to fear that consignments will be diverted from their civilian destination or otherwise accrue to the advantage of the enemy’s military efforts. International law does not obligate a party to a conflict to provide supplies to the territory of the other party.


In practice, the entry of several hundred tons of humanitarian supplies every day is now being facilitated by Israel even though Hamas possesses many essential supplies that it could itself provide to the civilian population. Israel is also providing water to Gaza from its own supplies. Israel has facilitated the establishment of field hospitals in southern Gaza and floating hospitals in the sea, and is working with third parties to establish additional field hospitals. Israel has facilitated the movement of people out of Gaza to receive medical treatment as well as the entry of medical supplies and equipment into Gaza, and provided its own medical supplies to patients and staff at Shifa Hospital during IDF operations to uncover and disable Hamas’s military infrastructure, which was inside the hospital complex. For more information, see COGAT’s website.


Genuine concern for the humanitarian situation must begin with a demand that Hamas stopping stealing aid and release the supplies it has stolen from the civilian population to sustain its terrorist objectives.


The following is from the IDF department responsible for this issue:

COGAT – IDF – Humanitarian aid to Gaza

Humanitarian aid including only food, water, medical supplies and shelter equipment is routed to Egypt and then forwarded to undergo Israeli security screening at either Nitzana or Kerem Shalom Crossings. From there, UN aid is sent to the Gaza Strip via Kerem Shalom, and the rest is sent to Gaza via the Rafah crossing in Egypt.


A humanitarian aid delivery channel via Jordan is operational, and additional delivery channels are in the planning process.

The volume of humanitarian aid is determined, among other factors, by the ability of humanitarian organizations within the Gaza Strip to absorb the aid.


Hamas controls the delivery of aid to the population according to its priorities. Much of the aid is not handed out but instead appropriated and then sold in the markets.

 

Written by Dr. Eado Hecht


Dr. Eado Hecht, a senior research fellow at the BESA Center, is a military analyst focusing mainly on the relationship between military theory, military doctrine, and military practice. He teaches courses on military theory and military history at Bar-Ilan University, Haifa University, and Reichman University and in a variety of courses in the Israel Defense Forces.


For more information, please contact:


Randy E. Spiegel, CEO

Canadian Friends of Bar-Ilan University

O:416-781-4466

C:416-993-6746

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