The nature of the fighting in Gaza will change when Israel resumes the war now. Norwegian experts are unsure whether this would result in fewer civilian casualties.
The shooting stopped last week, while Israeli hostages were exchanged for Palestinian prisoners. Friday morning the truce ended.
– I think that with the fighting starting again, it will take some time to reach a new ceasefire. It is difficult to say whether the delivery of hostages and prisoners has stopped or not, but it seems so, says War College researcher Trygve Johannes Smit to VG.
After the temporary ceasefire was violated, at least 60 Palestinians were martyred, according to health authorities in Gaza State.
– From a purely military point of view, there is no doubt who will win, however agitation “We will try to make the victory as expensive as possible,” says Smit.
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced this on Friday agitationagitationHamas is a military and political movement. Many countries, including the United States and the European Union, consider Hamas a terrorist organization. They did not fulfill their commitment to release all hostages, and they fired missiles at Israeli citizens.
– With the resumption of fighting, Israel is obligated to achieve the goals of this war, they write in one statement.
At 10 p.m. Thursday, Norwegian time, the IDF announced that six hostages were being held by the Red Cross on their way to Israel.
Two hostages were released earlier Thursday. In return, 30 Palestinians will be released from Israeli captivity. So far, the release of one hostage has led to the release of three prisoners.
– Since Israel responded immediately after the ceasefire ended, this indicates that negotiations have stopped and that both sides are ready to resume fighting. Smit says that Israel will work to release all the hostages, and what they can do is continue fighting to pressure Hamas to negotiate.
He believes it is unwise to say what will happen in the next few days. So far, more than 100 hostages have been released.
– There is a lot of diplomacy behind closed doors, and many people are working hard to find solutions.
Lieutenant Colonel and Head of the Land Forces Department at the Norwegian Defense Academy, Sigbjørn Halsen, says that the fact that the temporary ceasefire has ended is not surprising.
– From a purely military perspective, the truce is in favor of the defending party. They get time to rest and regroup. During a siege, the defending party must be ready at all times, while the attacker decides the time and place. It has an effect, it eats away at the defender over time, Hulsen tells VG.
According to Palestinian health authorities, the Israeli response to the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack killed more than 15,000 people in Gaza.
– The United States now wants Israel to reduce its firepower and avoid randomly falling bombs and artillery that have a certain spread, says Smit.
The Israeli government is determined to crush Hamas after the attack 56 days ago, which killed 1,200 Israelis.
Large parts of the densely populated Gaza Strip were turned into rubble.
Lieutenant Colonel Smit, who considers military ground operations his own domain, believes the next phase of the war will be different.
– Perhaps Israel is feeling pressure from the Americans.
You will protect civilians
The Biden administration called on Israel to act more cautiously and “surgically” when its forces enter southern Gaza.
– In the next few days we will get an answer about whether Israel will continue as it was before or not. It’s hard to say what to expect. Most likely, we will see Israel continuing an air campaign against what they believe is Hamas, says Lt. Col. Halsen.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken confirmed in Tel Aviv on Thursday that it would be “absolutely necessary” to protect civilians in Gaza.
– Israel must balance the pressure exerted by the United States with the fact that if they carry out a surgical operation, it could lead to the death of many Israeli soldiers, says Smit.
Surgical warfare involves using weapons against specific military targets, so as not to accidentally hit nearby civilians.
– It is also possible to send special forces against the hideouts of Hamas leaders and fighters whose authenticity has been verified through intelligence.
It’s a battle strategy that will take longer because there’s so much space and so many targets, Smit says.
– Instead of destroying a building with a bomb from the air, the Israelis can enter it with foot forces. Then there is a high probability that some of them will be injured or killed.
– But do you think this is how the war in Gaza will happen in the future?
This happens today too, but perhaps Israelis feel they need to do more of this. The Israel Defense Forces has American advisors at its headquarters who follow what they are doing.
Lieutenant Colonel Halsen believes it is difficult to predict whether there will be another temporary ceasefire.
– The opportunity definitely exists. He says that the matter will depend on the interests of both parties and the international pressure exerted on Israel, especially from the United States.
Smit adds that it will not necessarily be clear to us from the outside if the nature of the matches changes.
– Do you think that the number of Palestinian civilian deaths is less?
– It’s very difficult to say. If the Israelis move more slowly in clearing southern Gaza of Hamas, the daily civilian casualties will be lower.
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