Israel Defense Forces Could Have Major Advantage Thanks to Newly Upgraded Equipment

With Israel having warned the residents of the northern Gaza Strip to flee, the prospect of a grueling ground war between Israel and Hamas in the urban battlefield of Gaza looms, with Israel likely to employ weapons that give it a technological edge. Alex Plitsas set the scene on the website of the Atlantic Council, writing, “The only way for Israel to achieve its goal of eliminating Hamas’ military capabilities is house-to-house, block-to-block urban warfare.” Plitsas said while the Israel Defense Forces have a formidable array of weaponry, any victory “could take several months given the size of Gaza, the number of terrorists willing to fight, the extent of terrorist weapons caches, and the size of the civilian populace.” Israel is moving to eliminate Hamas in the wake of the group’s brutal terrorist attacks over the weekend that left 1,300 people dead. Hamas and Israel have each been preparing for war, according to The National in the United Arab Emirates. Its report Thursday said 80 percent of the Israeli army’s training is based on fighting an urban conflict. Hamas will have an arsenal of anti-tank guided missiles, suicide drones and improvised explosive devices. It has also prepared a vast tunnel network under Gaza. Israel is expected to deploy what’s known as the Trophy system, which destroys anti-tank missiles before they hit tanks or armored personnel carriers. “Trophy has proven very effective even against multiple RPG strikes and even if something gets through the Merkava [tank] has good protection,” Sam Cranny-Evans of the Rusi think tank said. The system also locks on the location where the missile was fired, making it easier for a tank to fire back without opening the tank hatch, an action that could leave the tank vulnerable to a grenade dropped from a drone, if Hamas is able to defeat Israel’s electronic warfare efforts that are designed to checkmate the use of drones against its forces. Israel is also expected to deploy what is called the Ghost Battalion — an assemblage of special forces, armor, cyberspecialists, artillery and even F-16s. “Ghost was deployed in 2021 and it has multi-domain capabilities allowing it [to] find and strike targets using everything from the eyeball to the latest electronic eavesdropping,” Cranny-Evans said, according to The National. “Israeli defense forces go to great efforts to hide their new capabilities until they actually need to use them so there will probably be surprises to both sides,” said Ben Barry, a retired British general with the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Hamas has shown in the past it can duel Israel. In assessing the 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the Rand Corp. said the Hamas fighting was “skillful, adaptive and conducted coherently,” with fighters “willing to engage in close combat with Israeli forces,” The National reported. Barry said the terrorist group will be fighting on its turf. “Hamas have also built hundreds of kilometers of tunnels, they will have laid all sorts of landmines and IEDs, they know the terrain extremely well and will have rehearsed their tactics,” he said. The National outlined a script that would begin with about 80,000 soldiers cutting Gaza in half before grinding out territory block by block. Israel fought battles in Gaza before, in 2008 and 2014, but those were limited engagements. This time, Israeli officials have said their goal is to effectively cripple Hamas. “All the places that Hamas hides in, operates from, we will turn them into ruins,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday night, according to The Associated Press. As Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a recent visit to the areas attacked by Hamas, he has “released all restraints” for Israeli units in the battles to come.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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