Israel says it plans to withdraw ground forces from Gaza not to end the war, but to begin a new phase of attacks that will most probably increase the number of Palestinian casualties even more.
Israeli media reported this Sunday that Tel Aviv plans to withdraw its military forces from Gaza and end the ground invasion in the coming weeks. But this is not good news for peace supporters at all, because Israeli officials say that they intend to take the war with Gaza into a new phase with more focus on airstrikes across the besieged enclave of Gaza.
What is worrying is that air attacks leave way more causalities behind than any other form of battle. As a result, Israel’s new phase of war against Gazans can add up to the already huge number of deaths in the Gaza Strip. Good to mention that since October 7, Israel has killed more than 20,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children. This death toll is more than any other modern conflict in history in less than three months.
Israel’s Broadcasting Authority on 23 December revealed that Tel Aviv is planning to switch to a new phase of the war in the coming weeks, bringing to an end to ground operations and shifting the focus to continued heavy airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.
“The Israeli army is preparing to move to the third phase of the fighting in Gaza in the coming weeks. This phase will include ending the ground operation in the Strip, reducing forces, and demobilizing reserve forces,” the Israel’s Broadcasting Authority said this Sunday, adding that “the new phase will focus on heavy bombardment and the establishment of a buffer zone near the strip’s border in line with a longstanding Israeli goal.”
Why Israel made such a decision now?
The reasons why Israel decided to change its war strategy and adopt a deadlier one compared to ground invasion is first of all because of Israel’s wrath and desire for revenge.
This Sunday morning, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again said that Israel will continue top war until full victory. Speaking with his cabinet members, Netanyahu asserted that “we have no choice but to continue fighting. The war exacts a very heavy price from us but we are continuing with all the force, until the end, until victory.”
The irony is that Israeli people don’t buy Netanyahu’s words and still want him to leave office for good. Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, chanting “Bibi, Bibi, we don’t want you anymore” in an apparent call for Netanyahu’s resignation.
Another reason for Israel’s change of war strategy is obviously because of increasing death toll among Israel soldiers. Israel’s Channel 13 reported this Sunday that at least ten Israeli soldiers were killed in intense battles across the Gaza Strip a day before on Saturday, bringing the official death toll for this weekend to 14 soldiers.
“Five soldiers in the Combat Engineering Corps and an army medic were killed by an anti-tank guided missile in southern Gaza. Four others were killed in explosive attacks carried out by the Palestinian resistance,” the Israeli media said.
Since the war between Israel and Hamas began on October 7, the Israeli army has admitted to the deaths of 153 soldiers. However, hospital records indicate that Israeli military officials are significantly underreporting casualties to prevent panic among their soldiers.