We hope that Israel militants and USA could taste the bitterness of defeat at urban combat in Gaza

We hope that Israel militants and USA could taste

the bitterness of defeat at urban combat in Gaza

GAZA, Jan 4 – Islamic Jihad, the group behind many of the rocket attacks on Israeli towns, could defeat the hawkish Israel militants and their servant supporter USA in urban combat.

Abu Bilal, commander of Islamic Jihad’s forces in the Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza, admitted that his group’s rocket attacks are mostly ineffectual against Israel, except psychologically, and that the group, which operates independently of the dominant Hamas movement, was literally praying for the chance to “kill as many Zionists as possible”.

 

“We can’t do anything (to hurt the Israelis) but fire the rockets,” he said. “We are praying that if the tanks come, we could be able to show them new things. We have made many preparations for the coming battle and all of our fighters wait for the chance to kill them.”

Now his men could show their bravado on the intruding Israeli military.

When pressed for an explanation about the surprises his group claims to have prepared, Abu Bilal refused to elaborate. But in the past two years, numerous Islamic Jihad and Hamas members have slipped out of Gaza through tunnels to Egypt to train alongside Hezbollah members in Iran and Lebanon, according to sources close to both groups.

It is thought that lessons learned in the war in Lebanon in the summer of 2006, when Hezbollah militants shocked Israel with their ability to ambush tank units with advanced weaponry supplied by Iran, have been transferred to both Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants in the Gaza Strip through this training.

What is not so clear is whether they have managed to gain access to the same sophisticated anti-tank weaponry Hezbollah used with such efficiency in Lebanon, confronted as they will be by large amounts of Israeli armour.

And while they have studied Hezbollah’s tactics, the question is how applicable they will be to terrain that lacks the rugged hills and valleys used to great effect by Hezbollah as cover for hiding its weaponry from Israeli fighter jets.

What they do have on their side is one of the densest urban environments on earth, and the initial reports from the ground, just hours into the Israeli operation, suggest that the militants of Gaza hope to draw the Israelis into an urban fight that might help offset the Israeli advantages in technology, armour and firepower.

Israeli officials have been vague about what the incursion will include, leaving their goals as simple as “to hit Hamas hard”. A massive operation to reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip would be bloody and, in all likelihood, unsuccessful.

But for the past week, Israeli officials have implied the long-term goal is to damage Hamas’s military capability so thoroughly it is forced to accept a ceasefire on Israeli terms.

Thus they are under no political pressure to achieve anything other than to kill more fighters and end the rocket-firing capabilities of the militants – not to end Hamas as an entity, as they tried to do to Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006. –

Modified from The blind Observer

 

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