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Israel has recently increased its long-standing 16 year blockade of the Gaza strip and it looks like they're planning a counter-invasion. But what's the stated purpose of this attack? Is Israel trying to fully recapture the territory of Gaza or are they trying to cause as much chaos as possible before leaving?

Also see this question.

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  • 6
    I'm not sure that an answer even exists yet (in that I'm not sure a longer term coherent plan is well formulated at this point). But I'm not going to close as the answer may manifest in a short time period.
    – ohwilleke
    Oct 9, 2023 at 19:35
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    @ohwilleke It seems reasonable to expect that Israel would make some public statements about that soon. I would also assume that if this blockage is as draconian as it sounds it will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe in a couple of days or a few weeks at most which should lead to other nations questioning what Israel is trying to achieve there.
    – quarague
    Oct 9, 2023 at 19:59
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    At the risk of appearing pedantic, invading implies incursions by ground forces into Gaza. Which hasn't happened yet. Which makes it all the harder to answer the question since we have no observed "invasive actions" to theorize strategies about. Let's say we see broad, massive advances into Gaza, with logistics to support a long stay. Versus smaller, more narrow drives to capture and isolate strongpoints. Those 2 different approaches would give different interpretations of possible endgoals. At this point in time, neither bombings nor blockades give that kind of a clue. Oct 9, 2023 at 23:04
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    I think they aren't going to recapture Gaza. I'd say they want to eliminate Hamas from the area and give the Gaza strip to the Fatah party which is willing to a two-state solution. Oct 10, 2023 at 9:41
  • 3
    @JonathanReez that may have been the end result, but I hope that wasn’t the “strategy”. Gozl and result can be two very different things.
    – jcaron
    Oct 10, 2023 at 18:24

7 Answers 7

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Israel has declared war against Hamas, the governing body of the Gaza Strip.

As with any war, the general goal is the destruction or capitulation of the opposing side.

Given a litany of recent statements from various high-ranking Israeli government officials, it appears the initial goal of the war is the destruction of Hamas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

"We didn't want this war. It was forced upon us in the most brutal and savage way," ... "But though Israel didn't start this war, Israel will finish it." ... “We have only started striking Hamas,” ... “What we will do to our enemies in the coming days will reverberate with them for generations.” ... “I said that every place from which Hamas operates will turn into ruins. It is already happening today, it will happen even more in the future,”

Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant:

“I have given an order – Gaza will be under complete siege,” “We are fighting barbarians and will respond accordingly.”

There haven't been any publicized conditions for surrender that I've been able to find either.

The use of ground forces in the Gaza Strip suggests Israel is not willing to destroy everything to accomplish their goal.

Hamas has captured an estimated over 100 prisoners, potentially some high-ranking military members as well as international civilians.

Ground forces will likely have a goal to retrieve captured personnel as well as find and eliminate any targets that are unable to be destroyed by airstrike, either to preserve life or equipment, or because they are undetectable from the air.

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    CNN's translation of Gallant's speech might be using an euphemism here. Most sources quote him as calling Gaza inhabitants "human animals", which is even more de-humanizing than "barbarians" (e.g. huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/…). I don't read Hebrew myself, so I cannot check the original text.
    – Evargalo
    Oct 10, 2023 at 8:43
  • Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Politics Meta, or in Politics Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – JJJ
    Oct 10, 2023 at 22:12
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    "There haven't been any publicized conditions for surrender that I've been able to find either." A CNN report implied a stated condition for Israel to partially relent: "Hamas is holding as many as 150 people hostage, according to Israeli authorities. Israel is cutting off any electricity, water or fuel to Gaza until the hostages are returned home, Energy Minister Israel Katz said." cnn.com/middleeast/live-news/israel-news-hamas-war-10-12-23/…
    – ohwilleke
    Oct 14, 2023 at 5:00
  • (-1) “As with any war, the general goal is the destruction or capitulation of the opposing side.” That is, quite simply, not true, perhaps even an exception historically speaking. Stopped reading after that.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 1, 2023 at 11:58
  • @Relaxed I'm sorry, could you expand on how it isn't true? The goal of a war and the political goals that lead to war are not usually the same. The reality is that in its most basic sense, the goal of a war is to win. Strategic, tactical, and political goals typically shape how a win is achieved, but the end result is almost always the same. Two parties engage in a fight until one side is either unable or unwilling to continue with the fight.
    – David S
    Nov 1, 2023 at 15:22
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The situation is not unlike the US invading Afghanistan after 9/11 - the obvious objective would then be eliminating Hamas (as the US fought Al-Qaeda.) However, the experience from the previous rounds of fighting (starting with the Gaza conflict in 2006 and Gaza war of 2008) shows that, being less powerful than the US, Israel will face significant international pressure not to follow through with this goal, out of concern for high casualties and hardships incurred to the Palestinian population.

Another factor that is often overlooked is is the Israel's own military losses in carrying out such an operation. Indeed, the military operations carried out by the US, Britain, France or other countries are mainly limited to the professional military, whose casualties have little effect on the support of the general population for such actions. In Israel the standing army is based on nationwide draft (of men and women), and any major military operation requires calling up reservists - i.e., the able-bodied population up to the age of 45, with little latitude for family status, profession, etc. (although it mostly concerns men.) Thus, casualties affect the whole population and result in the immediate political backlash.

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    Well, they did suffer some 900 civilian casualties in the latest Hamas attack already. So they have to balance that with the potential for more. Thus the backlash might not be so immediate, but it's probably a tricky balance. Oct 10, 2023 at 9:36
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    @Fizz what I mean is that people reason differently when the next casualty might be themselves, their husband or their son. Whether he is the only casualty or one in 900 makes little difference. Most Israelis cannot afford a detached view of American or European voters, for whom hundreds of casualties are mostly just numbers. Oct 10, 2023 at 9:43
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+500

Most clear "grand strategy" statement I've seen to date:

As we've been reporting, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier today [Oct 28] said his country's war with Hamas had entered its "second stage".

Last week, Israel's defence minister Yoav Gallant told a parliamentary committee that the war would have three stages.

"The first stage of the campaign was meant to destroy Hamas's infrastructure in order to defeat and destroy Hamas," Gallant said.

He described the second stage as continued fighting as troops work to “eliminate pockets of resistance".

And the third phase, Gallant said, "will require the removal of Israel's responsibility for life in the Gaza Strip, and the establishment of a new security reality for the citizens of Israel".

Since one may be curious what was achieved in the first phase, there's an attempted summary at end of this answer (3rd part).

Not a lot was shared about the vision for this 2nd phase, but

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel expects a long and difficult ground offensive into Gaza soon. It “will take a long time” to dismantle Hamas’ vast network of tunnels, he said, adding that he expects a lengthy phase of lower-intensity fighting as Israel destroys “pockets of resistance.”

Netanyahu himself has said pretty much the same:

The war will be "long and hard," warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he announced the launch of Israel's second phase in its war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

"This is the second stage of the war whose goals are clear — to destroy Hamas' governing and military capabilities and to bring the hostages home," Netanyahu told reporters Saturday night in Tel Aviv. He vowed that every effort would be made to rescue the more than 200 hostages held by Hamas.

"We are only at the start," he said. "We will destroy the enemy above ground and below ground."

Aside from that, in connection to US advisors being sent to Israel, the media and analysts cited the US experience with Mosul campaign (against ISIS), which took some nine months to complete, although it was initially planned to last just three. CNN actually has slightly more detail on that:

US military advisers on the ground in Israel are invoking lessons learned specifically from Fallujah in 2004, one of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq War.

Instead of launching a full-scale ground assault on Gaza, which could endanger hostages, civilians, and further inflame tensions in the region, US military advisers are urging Israelis to use a combination of precision airstrikes and targeted special operations raids.

They are also drawing on strategies developed during the battle by US-led coalition forces to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS, which relied more heavily on special operations forces. Like Hamas, ISIS built tunnels throughout Mosul and used civilians as human shields, and the fight to retake the city was harder and more drawn-out than anticipated.

To help deliver this message, the Biden administration has sent a three-star Marine Corps general to counsel the IDF on planning its tactical assault. Gen. James Glynn, the former commander of Marine Forces Special Operations Command, has significant experience with urban warfare in Iraq, particularly in Fallujah, where he commanded troops during some of the bloodiest fighting there between US forces and insurgents, officials said. [...]

A senior Israeli official said that the US is not telling the Israelis to deescalate or refrain from crossing any “red lines.”

“They are saying while you fight the war – pay attention to all of these dimensions,” the official said. “The US has its own experience for fighting wars in urban areas, Fallujah, in Mosul and so on. … And so you [the United States] also have some experience in such a situation. And it’s always good to share experiences, among friends.”

Also:

What the IDF does have is a series of carefully worked out plans to destroy Hamas’ capabilities, according to a 2017 study by the Rand Corporation, a Washington think-tank with ties to the US military.

Ranked as small, medium and large, the plans were worked out before the IDF’s last ground invasion of Gaza in 2014.

The smallest one involved the IDF taking control of northern Gaza without entering populated areas — a situation similar to the current state of fighting there. The medium plan envisaged a larger ground incursion into northern and southern areas. The largest plan involved taking all of Gaza.

Although the plans remain secret, Israeli defence planners have worked out the forces needed to conduct each operation, according to the Rand study.

So, if I'm to abuse a phrase, this one is going according to the plan, for now.


Older answer below:

This answer may well be overtaken by events, but insofar there's no definitive answer, as far as I can tell.

According to commentators, Netanayahu previously has been reluctant to engage in ground incursions, preferring air strikes. He might not be able to stick just with that this time given the magnitude of the Hamas attacks.

In a previous case when Israeli troops did go into Gaza, i.e. 2014, their goals were mainly to find and destroy the tunnel network [parts] that could not be found & hit from the air. (Netanyahu was also PM back then, so clearly he's not completely against ground incursions.)

However, this time, some Israeli army spokesperson has hinted at potentially broader goals, saying that Hamas cannot be allowed to stay in power or even 'live'. (N.B., also quoted by VOA as saying "we are also to make sure that Hamas will not be able to govern the Gaza Strip".) They've [insofar] not said however how Israel is going to achieve these desiderata, i.e. just by air or what extent of ground attacks they envisage etc. Netanyahu himself has used strong terms like "defeat to death" of Hamas (sounds a little awkward in English, maybe someone has a better translation).

More recent reports say Israel has called "up to" 300,000 reservists and amassed troops on the border with Gaza, suggesting a large scale ground operation is going to take place, eventually. (FWTW, back in 2014, Israel called up much fewer reservists--they announced at most 40,000 back then.) Also, the US has called the recent attacks by Hamas, "ISIS-level savagery", suggesting they'd greenlight a similar level of measures that they had taken against ISIS, i.e. [near] total destruction of the group and its leadership, and depriving them [or any remnants] of the ability to control any significant territory, like the combined air-ground campaign against ISIS ended.

Also, a bit more recently, Netanyahu said Hamas is "worse than Daesh [ISIS]" and that "Every Hamas member is a dead man." So that seems to be the ideal goal for his government right now. Whether that's realistic remains to be seen. But he seems to have fairly broad political support for that, e.g.:

Mr Gantz told Israeli citizens that the newly-formed government was "united" and ready to "wipe this thing called Hamas off the face of the Earth".


As for more recent developments, the IDF has pounded Gaza with thousands of bombs, reducing some entire neighborhoods to rubble. The Economist estimated about a week ago (Oct 19) that

At least 4.3% of the enclave’s buildings appear to have been destroyed.

According to the maps included, most of the destruction was concentrated on specific areas, insofar closer to the Israeli border, like Beit Hanoun (pictured below).

enter image description here

UNITAR estimates building destruction/damage, which insofar have been focused on some specific areas (Deir al-Balah Governorate--which is south of the Israeli ordered evacuation area) put the number to under 2% in those. (UNITAR is notoriously famous for rather strict[er] standards as to what counts as destroyed.)

The "24 hrs" evacuation order for north Gaza [issued] on Oct 13 appears to have been some 2/3 successful, according to PBS with some 700,000 Palestinians moving south but 350,000 still remaining in the north, by Oct 26.

Also, virtually the entire strip appears to be without power, with the exception of some isolated buildings, according to satellite images taken at night, which recorded a 90% reduction in illumination.

And the IDF has launched some probing ground attacks (which some called them raids). That has yet to reveal what they'll ultimately settle for though.

For now they've also cut off all Internet to the region. (Those outages have been on and off though, since then.)


And it looks like the ground ops won't be limited to the North:

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Wednesday [Nov 15] the ground operation will eventually “include both the north and south. We will strike Hamas wherever it is.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed the plans, saying Israel’s goal is “a complete victory over Hamas in the south and the return of our hostages.”

If Israeli troops move south, it is not clear where Gaza’s population can flee, with Egypt refusing a mass transfer onto its soil.

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  • BTW, I dunno what's the deal is with that (first) video, right now. It says it's "private" now, but was viewable yesterday. It was an interview on a French channel (France 24) IIRC. Oct 9, 2023 at 20:14
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    It's quite possible that the Israeli government hasn't decided on an exact course of action yet. The problem is complex: what the government - a fractious coalition - wants to do, what they feel their electorate wants them to do, what the military is capable of delivering, short and long term, and what they think world public opinion will tolerate. Hostages. Might take more than 48hrs. In many ways whacking say Lebanon, a sovereign nation, for attacking them would be much easier than dealing with a territory nominally under their partial control/responsibility. Oct 9, 2023 at 23:19
  • 1
    With Islamic State, there was/is an alternative group ready to take power (SDF / YPG), a group that allied with the West. The only secular Palestinian groups I'm aware of are DFLP and PFLP, which aren't very relevant anymore, allied with Hamas, and given their history of æroplane hijackings, are unlikely to be tolerated by Israel or western allies. Unlike Islamic State, Hamas seems to have support among the local population, and no-one is going to dare collaborate with Israel against Hamas. The parallel does not hold.
    – gerrit
    Oct 10, 2023 at 6:18
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    @Fizz That camp already exists — it's called Gaza... (I exaggerate only slightly) Good luck trying to occupy that (permanently?) using ground troops.
    – gerrit
    Oct 10, 2023 at 6:57
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    I think the geography and demography are not favorable for using/existence of proxy groups. Firstly, because Israel is fighting a war on its own border, not thousands kilometers away as US in Syria. Israel did use Christian Lebanese groups as allies during the Lebanon war, but Christians among Palestinians are not numerous and had it hard under Hamas - I doubt that many are left in Gaza. Also, in the past Israel used to occupy Gaza, Sinai and Southern Lebanon with its own forces - return to this situation is not excluded, as it allows effectively preventing terrorist attacks. Oct 10, 2023 at 11:38
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To send a message.

Israel needs to show other regional entities that throwing bombs at Israel, invading Israel, killing Israeli Citizens, etc... Will not be tolerated by Israel. That there will be consequences, and the consequences will be severe.

If Israel does nothing about the invasion by Hamas, or too little, they send a message to everyone around them--who have consistently announced that they want to exterminate all the Israelis. That it is open season on Israel. That Israel will just roll over when it has been attacked.

The reason why Hamas attacked when they did is there was political instability in Israel. Israel looked weak, Hamas decided to push their luck and hope that Israel's current political leadership would lack the resolve to punish them for attacking Israel. They are finding out that this was a mistake.

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    "hope that Israel's current political leadership would lack the resolve to punish them for attacking Israel" I doubt that they really believed that and anyway the question is about Israel. There is another question about Hamas strategy, where the last paragraph could go. Oct 11, 2023 at 21:44
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Question:

What is Israel's strategy in invading the Gaza strip?

There is no good strategy for Israel in invading Gaza. It's a tactical punitive move to try to impose a significant cost on Hamas. Israel cannot permit Hamas to strike it with impunity, much less on this scale. To do so it is felt would invite greater aggression.

Israel doesn't want to occupy Gaza. They directly occupied Gaza for decades after the 67 war and withdrew unilaterally from the interior as a tactic to reduce their own casualties. Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas of the world with about 2.4 million people. The IDF would struggle to pacify Gaza and would still be unlikely to succeed. If they couldn't do it over 40 years (1967-2005) they are unlikely to do it now.

Israel is also unlikely to convince Egypt to accept responsibility for Gaza or it's refugees. Israel has tried to give Gaza to Egypt as part of the Camp David accords which saw Sinai Peninsula repatriated to Egypt. Egypt wouldn't take it. Their position is the refugee's in Gaza are of Israel's making and Israel's responsibility.

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  • This answer is outdated and needs to be updated. The IDF would struggle to pacify Gaza and would still be unlikely to succeed. - But that's exactly Netanyahu's plan - “Israel will for an indefinite period … have the overall security responsibility [in Gaza] because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t have that security responsibility.”
    – sfxedit
    Nov 21, 2023 at 7:06
  • @sfxedit, The answer is not outdated. Netanyahuu's in no position to make long term plans, he's going to be voted out of office pretty quickly after a cease fire is declared. Israel can try to pacify Gaza, they tried before. It is not within their power. The standing size of the IDF is roughly 150,000 troops. To pacify Gaza with an active insurgency would likely take a decades long occupation of all of those troops. Israel can't afford that. especially not with other security concerns elsewhere. Israel also can't affort to keep their reserves active for years much less decades.
    – JMS
    Nov 21, 2023 at 12:19
  • @JMS Netanyahu is a wily politician who knows how to tenaciously cling on to power. He does it by making short-term plans that depend on PR. Look at what he has already achieved by fanning the anger and immediately going to war - 1) He has temporarily distracted the people from his failures 2) He ensured that no immediate public enquiry and investigation can happen on the intelligence failure (up to the PMO) 3) He has ensured opposition cannot criticise him and divided them 4) He is strengthening his political base by pandering to the right-wing voters in the war which has no realistic goals
    – sfxedit
    Nov 21, 2023 at 13:17
  • @JMS My point is that you are assuming that the war is being waged with a rational plan. It is not. I completely agree with you that Israel cannot realistically occupy Gaza to "pacify" them without a very high cost. But by not giving Israelis the time to grieve, and emotionally manipulating them into a war, he has created unrealistic expectations in the public that may be politically difficult to back out of, for any Israeli politician now, without a huge public backlash. I am guessing that Netanyahu is still hoping that getting back the hostages will improve his image with the public.
    – sfxedit
    Nov 21, 2023 at 13:25
  • @sfxedit, Agreed. Netanyahu is a skilled crafty survivor in the finest tradition of politics. If anybody could survive this politically it would be him. With as many as 80% of Israel's population believing Netanyahu is responsible for Oct 7th just a month ago. I still say he's not in any position to be making long term plans, he's likely out after the first cease fire is declared.
    – JMS
    Nov 21, 2023 at 13:26
1

A leaked document from Israel's Ministry of Intelligence recommends a plan that entails occupying Gaza and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the Gaza strip.

A brief summary of the plan:

  1. Recommends the occupation of Gaza and forceful eviction of the Palestinians from there.

Here, in phase 1, the population of Gaza must be "vacated to the south" and Israeli Air Force should bomb the northern parts. In phase 2, a ground attack should aim to occupy the entire strip from north to south, while also targeting the Hamas fighters in their underground bunkers. As Gaza is occupied by the Israeli forces, the civilians should be forced to evacuate through the "traffic lanes in the south" towards Rafah.

  1. Recommends the establishment of new "tent cities" for the deported population in northern Sinai.

  2. Recommends the creation of a "sterile" zone on the border.

A "sterile" zone of several kilometres should then be created between the borders of Egypt and Israel, inside Egypt, where no Palestinian from Gaza should be allowed.

  1. Recommends a propaganda campaign amongst the citizens of Gaza and the Arab world.

The forcefully displaced Gazan civilians should then be convinced, through a propaganda campaign, that Israel will never return the territories it has occupied, that Hamas is responsible for their political misery, and they should settle down wherever they can with the help of their "muslim brothers". Simultaneously, a propaganda campaign should also be launched in the Arab world, targetting Saudi Arabia, Morrocco, Libya and Tunisia using Islam to appeal to muslims to "help their Palestinian brothers", while also publicly berating Israel.

  1. Recommends a massive international diplomatic effort to fight criticisms of Genocide and to convince the world to accept the Israeli occupation of Gaza.

It suggests that the international community should be told that that the "massive migration" of population from an active combat zone is similar to what has happened in Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine and is necessary for future deterrent. It should be emphasised that the deportation of the population of Gaza is a necessary "humanitarian" move that would result in fewer civilian casualties of Palestinians and thus should be supported by the international community. It also recommends that the US should be roped in to put pressure on Egypt to accept the displaced Palestinian, and to convince western countries like Greece, Spain, Canada etc. to accept Palestinian refugees "evacuated" from Gaza. Further, the Unites States should be used to exert "pressure" on Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE to accept Israeli occupation of Gaza and / or accept the displaced Palestinian refugees.

Note: It is common for a government to create and consider many similar scenarios and plans. This is one such plan leaked from a right-wing group in Israel. Obviously the Israeli government hasn't publicly acknowledged that this is the plan they have chosen to implement. But the Israeli government has publicly acknowledged that this is an official document from a Government ministry.

Also, certain elements of this plan can be seen in action from what has transpired so far.

Palestinians were warned to evacuate northern Gaza:

Tens of thousands of Gazans from the northern parts of the strip have been fleeing southward since Friday morning in a state of panic, fear, and anger, after Israel ordered everyone in the north to evacuate within 24 hours ... The fear and anxiety were evident in the convoy of displaced people heading down Salah al-Din Street, which connects the Gaza Strip from north to south.

Bombing of Gaza has continued.

Former Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has also publicly said that "tent cities" can be created for the refugees in Sinai:

... “We don’t tell Gazans to go to the beaches or drown themselves … No, God forbid … Go to the Sinai Desert. There is a huge expanse, almost endless space in the Sinai Desert just on the other side of Gaza.” ... “The idea is for them to leave over to the open areas where we and the international community will prepare infrastructure … tent cities, with food and with water, just like for the refugees of Syria,” Ayalon added.

And now a ground invasion of Gaza territory by Israel forces is ongoing.

Meanwhile, as per news reports the Egyptian President is under tremendous pressure from American, European and Israeli politicians to allow Palestinian refugees to Sinai. Egypt has also seen an influx of refugees trying to breach its border at Rafah (note that the plan recommends forcing Palestinian refugees to take the roads to Rafah).

Egypt finds itself under growing pressure from Europe and other international organizations to fulfill a more major role in helping the residents of the Gaza Strip, and even opening up the Rafah border crossing to potentially receive hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has himself dismissed out of hand the possibility of taking in Palestinian refugees. The Egyptian leader said, "Why can't Israel transfer the refugees to the Negev desert until the armed groups in Gaza like Hamas and Islamic Jihad are dealt with."

... The Egyptians are currently not even opening the Rafah crossing to foreign passport holders, despite reports of a deal being reached on the matter with the US administration ...

While Netanyahu and his Israeli-right allies may approve a plan advocating for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, there is currently a "unity government" in Israel. The opposition party members in it don't necessarily support the view of the Israeli religious fundamentalists that Palestinians are, and should be wiped out, "like the Amalekites". Thus, realistically, only some part of this plan may have been co-opted and Israel's "unity government" may very well only be working on the destruction of Hamas.

References:

  1. המסמך המלא של משרד המודיעין: כיבוש עזה וטרנספר כולל לתושביו (Google Translation: The complete document of the Ministry of Intelligence: Occupation of Gaza and total transfer to its residents).
  2. Unofficial English translation of the leaked paper by +972 magazine.
  3. Israel pressures Egypt to take in Palestinian refugees
  4. Egypt proposes Europe takes in Gaza refugees
  5. Netanyahu speaks the language of genocide
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  • 1
    Do you want to remove "genocide" from your answer? Or alternatively provide an explanation here: politics.stackexchange.com/questions/82229/… Oct 31, 2023 at 21:51
  • 1
    @JonathanReez: yeah, the word "genocide" doesn't seem to appear as such in the translation provided by 972. OTOH "de-Nazification" does... Oct 31, 2023 at 22:18
  • 1
    @JonathanReez No. What has been suggested in this paper is Genocide and the word is aptly used.
    – sfxedit
    Nov 7, 2023 at 10:03
-3

The defense minister is the linked source says that they are literally implementing a siege, so it likely follows that the purpose is the same as any other siege: either to win by attrition without sacrificing much as an attacker or to compell the defense into negotiations, in which they have an increasing large disadvantage. Sieges are a very common tactic throughout history, but is used less often in the modern world since modern cities can usually survive on years of stores and supplies (not to mention that offensive destructive power makes it unlikely for defense to be good enough for a siege to occur in the first place in modern warfare) so it's often more effective to launch a direct attack.

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    On the contrary, modern urban warfare shows it's still ridiculously hard to capture a defended city and it is usually ruined in the process.
    – alamar
    Oct 9, 2023 at 20:30
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    I am wiling to bet that their strategy is not to engage in a long term, starve-them-out siege. Modern cities can not, in fact, survive on years of stores and supplies if seriously blockaded. The only example thereof was Leningrad, which resulted in deaths by starvation and cannibalism and Gaza is considerably more fragile in its circumstances: winning by attrition in this sense would be a sure way to nuke Israel's reputation. They may very start out with a - painful and damaging - blockade to "soften things up", but the rest of this answer is entirely your own opinion. Oct 9, 2023 at 20:51
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    Again, apple and oranges. Lebanese-Israeli war was in 1982 when Israel hadn't yet had military dominance in its neighborhood for decades. Over the years since, their reputation has indeed degraded from the "plucky underdog" to the "regional bully", so they have more to lose by behaving as you suggest. Not to mention massively higher risks of exposure via social media and cellphones. And a lot more scrutiny. Just because you disapprove of them doesn't make your answer any more insightful. Oct 9, 2023 at 21:23
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    @uberhaxed Capturing a defended city becomes either an abrupt war crime or a war crime in slow motion. The defenders do not even have to be very numerous or well armed for this to not have any good outcomes.
    – alamar
    Oct 9, 2023 at 22:25
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    @uberhaxed, trashing a city is easy. As Mariupol demonstrated last year, capturing a city is hard: despite having a four-to-one numerical advantage, it still took Russia three months to capture it. See also: Stalingrad, Leningrad. Even Berlin managed to hold out for eight days despite being in a hopeless situation at the end of WWII.
    – Mark
    Oct 10, 2023 at 3:11

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