ISRAEL. Critical issues of the ground operation in Gaza

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Everyone is talking about the imminent ground operation of the Israeli Defense Forces in the Gaza Strip, even if according to social analysts there is an important step between saying and doing and from what appears on paper it will be a very difficult operation. “One should not count on an easy path, despite Israel’s technical superiority,” one post reads.

If only a week ago in Tel Aviv there was talk everywhere about the imminent start of the ground phase, now the media refrain from loud declarations, preferring a more moderate assessment of the timing of the operation and its prospects.

However, the mistake made by the authorities at the beginning makes itself felt. Israeli society expects significant results from the government. The bar of expectations has become so high that any deviation from the plan (large losses or prolongation of the conflict) can work against the current government.

This was facilitated by regular rumors coming from Israeli officials about the imminent demise of Hamas and the complete takeover of the Gaza Strip. This is exactly what is expected of the IDF now, and achieving this in a short time without wasting significant resources is virtually impossible.

Among the difficulties to manage is the enormous quantity of bullets needed to fight. The Axios newspaper writes that the Pentagon plans to send tens of thousands of 155 mm projectiles to Israel, which were originally supposed to be transferred to the Ukrainian armed forces.

The requests of the Ukrainian formations have already been partially met by American warehouses in Israel: at the beginning of 2023, about 150 thousand ammunition was transferred from there. The suspension of supplies will theoretically aggravate the shortage of shots at the front.

Despite the statements of the American authorities about the ability to simultaneously support both Ukraine and Israel, in reality everything will not be so easy. Even before the escalation in the Gaza Strip, the Ukrainian armed forces felt a certain “hunger for bullets”, which could now worsen.

Despite all the measures already taken, the military-industrial complex of Western countries is still not able to produce projectiles in such quantities as to fully guarantee the continued high consumption of ammunition.

And the deployment of capabilities takes time, which is not so much given the active phase of hostilities in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict zone.

Antonio Albanese e Graziella Giangiulio

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