Although the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) surrounded Gaza City and spent more than a month attacking Hamas positions and tunnels, recorded attacks recently released by Hamas and analyzed by CNN help illustrate how difficult it will be to stop Islamic extremists.
A CNN geographically located several clashes seen in Hamas videos in three main locations: Al-Shati refugee camp, Atatra, and Beit Hanoun. The images were released after the start of the Israeli ground invasion.
The remaining fights that CNN could not be located geographically occurred on incredibly dense urban streets or in very rural areas – mainly olive groves.
The overall success in the Hamas attacks depicted – whether most of its fighters survived and whether they are causing casualties to Israeli soldiers or their equipment – is unclear from the videos, which are heavily edited and redacted propaganda. Hamas only praises its successful missions in publications.
However, the publication of body camera footage of their fighters carrying out an ambush indicates that at least one of the extremists survived and brought back the footage.
The military analyst of CNN and retired U.S. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling reviewed the videos and said Hamas was likely using rocket-propelled grenades, which have the potential to be specifically devastating to some military vehicles, such as armored personnel carriers.
An IDF spokesperson declined to comment on the number of military vehicles that were disabled or destroyed during the ground invasion, citing “operational security considerations.”
Clearing the Hamas tunnels with arsenals of weapons and fighters inside will likely take months.
Furthermore, Hamas fighters can now also use the consequences of Israeli military attacks – the ruins of buildings – as cover to carry out their ambushes.
Hertling said that trying to stop these ambushes would be like “whacking a mole” unless the IDF was able to destroy all tunnel complexes, tunnel openings or shafts.
“It will take months to do this,” he said, noting that clearing operations cannot be done by vehicles.
IDF soldiers will have to clean each building individually, an activity that will leave them exposed to Hamas and, in turn, risk a skyrocketing casualty rate.
Hamas says the videos were taken on November 2, 3, 5 and 6. An analysis of the CNN could not independently confirm this period, but the duration and direction of shadows in the videos also indicated that many of the ambushes occurred on different days or many hours apart.
In most locations, Hamas fighters are seen carrying out multiple ambushes at different times of the day.
See also: Israel says it killed Hamas weapons manufacturer
Source: CNN Brasil
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