What military strategies has Israel used to try to eliminate terrorism originating in Gaza, and how effective were they? Or where can one learn about them? This includes its current strategy.

What strategies that may reduce international backlash has it chosen not to employ, and why? "Why" here means what it has stated publicly and what we can infer based on what we know of its stated priorities, not asking for psychics to read minds.

I ask because Israel is experiencing political backlash from other countries for the civilian casualties inflicted by its current strategy, 1 and I would intuitively expect Israel to want to reduce that political impact, if doing so would not compromise its mission, especially if its military funding is put at risk. Part of learning why it doesn't try certain things is learning what things it has tried and what the results have been.

For example, other, counter-terrorism operations I've heard of have been joint operations of coalition forces. I intuit this as a strategy that can reduce international backlash. The USA-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were such coalition efforts. Has Israel made any attempts to involve other countries in its operations in Gaza, past or present? I can find no mention of any militaries other than Israel's being involved in Gaza, except for recent reports that the USA has been providing aerial recon. Has Israel tried this on a larger scale, and I am simply not aware of it, or has it not, and why?

News organizations often run stories about specific events and their impact, but I have not seen stories explaining overall strategies and their reasoning, otherwise I would include them here as prior research, and I simply don't know where else to look.

  • 2
    While the first part is a legitimate question, the Background looks like an attempt to promote certain political cause. Many of the US politicians in question had no problem supporting invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the bombing campaign in Libya - resulting in death counts, which even taken separately dwarf the century of the Arab-Israeli conflict. And let us not forget 3 million dead in Vietnam, where one simply burned forests with fighters, villages and everything inside. Dec 14, 2023 at 13:19
  • @RogerV. I have attempted an edit to be more focused, removing as much background and personal perspective as I could without losing all context. Your answer has helped me understand that, in a sense, it contains two questions, but they're very closely related, and I hope they deserve to be together. I have described them more clearly.
    – Corrodias
    Dec 15, 2023 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


Not only bombing

Its present strategy seems to be largely centered around bombing structures it claims to believe are inhabited by Hamas operatives, with some warning given to civilians to evacuate, though with little regard for the logistics of them being able to do so or their livelihoods afterward. This is merely to explain my perception of its current strategy and should not be taken as authoritative.

These statements are incorrect. What can be achieved via bombing is rather limited - indeed, if it were not the case, Israel wouldn't need to carry out the ground operation in Gaza. E.g., here are the comments regarding the recent battle at Shijaiyah, which cost lives to many Israeli soldiers, Hamas' last stand in Shijaiyah proves costly for IDF:

With the area being so densely built, sprawling with a tight array of buildings and uncomfortably narrow alleyways, it’s virtually impossible to insert a bulldozer into these suffocating bits of space, which would have served the IDF well in clear lines of sight, allowing for more headway and an increased measure of planning and care that would potentially have prevented Israel’s senselessly losing 9 of its finest warriors.

The option of raining down hell upon the terrorists would have served little purpose, as Hamas is well versed with this particular kind of threat, scurrying underground before bombs even drop and surfacing back up when the threat has passed.

Within the bowels of Shijaiyah, one would be well advised not to go into a building from the front entrance, while also “softening” resistance inside the structure by letting a tank blow up said entrance, potentially killing any terrorists waiting to ambush the soldiers as soon as they come in. But yes, inserting a tank into a position to shoot the building in the first place is a tricky proposition, and insistence on doing so could severely slow things down, giving terrorists more time to set up more traps.

Proposals of Anti-Hamas Coalition

One thought I've had is that other, counter-terrorism operations I've heard of have been joint operations of coalition forces. For examples, the USA-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were coalition efforts. Has Israel made any attempts to involve other countries in its operations in Gaza, past or present? It seems to me that one way to reduce international backlash is to include international forces, giving them the powers to directly intervene and to "see and judge for themselves" the challenges Israel faces. Yet, I can find no mention of any militaries other than Israel's being involved in Gaza.

There have been indeed proposals for a joint action against Hamas. E.g., French president Emmanuel Macron suggested adding Hamas to the list of targets for anti-ISIS coalition:

French President Emmanuel Macron called on Tuesday for the international coalition against the Islamic State terror group to be expanded to also fight Hamas after the deadly October 7 assault on Israel.

Macron, speaking after talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, said that countries fighting ISIS “should also fight against Hamas.”

After Macron’s comments, an Elysee Palace official said that France is available “to beef up what we are doing in the coalition against ISIS. We are available to include Hamas in [being targeted by] the coalition against ISIS depending on what Israel will ask us to deliver.”

Such ideas usually get little traction in Israel: from the military standpoint Israel is capable of dealing with Hamas itself, whereas from the political standpoint it cannot be sure that the coalition partners are there really to help, rather than to exert influence on how events develop, thus tying Israel's hands. The ambivalence of many western governments about bringing to the end the anti-Hamas operation certainly testifies to that.

Israel should be able to defend itself by itself
The suspicion of foreign help is reflected in the unspoken rule of Israeli politics that Israel should be able to defend itself by itself. The principal follows from the experience of the Jewish people that, whenever they were persecuted by somebody, the others stood by without action or even implicitly assisted the persecution. The allies' refusal to bomb the railways leading to Auschwitz or the restrictions on Jewish emigration out of Europe during the rise of Nazism are just a couple of examples.

This ultimately underlies much of the Israeli foreign policy, such as

  • Israel's insistence on defensible borders during peace negotiations
  • Israel's reluctance to join any military alliances
  • The refusal to make concessions in its stand vis-à-vis Iran in exchange for a promise of nuclear umbrella
  • Its efforts to develop its own military production (tanks or drones) or at least upgrade the foreign equipment, notably the electronic equipment and software
  • launching its own satellites
  • reluctance to have the UN peace-keeping forces on its borders
  • This answer contains some useful information, so +1 for that. It seems incomplete, so I encourage others to contribute as well, or for you to add more about what else they've tried, if there is anything.
    – Corrodias
    Dec 19, 2023 at 9:03

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