IDF tells 100,000 Gaza civilians to move back from Israeli border – sign of impending ground incursion

DEBKAfile Special Report July 10, 2014, 4:55 PM (IDT)

But according to Netanyahu, if the rockets stop, the IDF will stop

Thursday afternoon, July 10, the IDF advised 100,000 Palestinian civilians to leave their homes in the northern Gaza villages of Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun, Greater Ibsen and Smaller Ibsen and head west to the coast or south to remove themselves from danger. This order, issued shortly after a special Israeli cabinet meeting, suggested that an Israel military incursion is impending. During the day, Hamas kept up its barrage. By firing 100 rockets, the Islamists demonstrated that their rocket capability had not been impaired by three days of massive Israeli air strikes.

DEBKAfile reported earlier Thursday: Early Thursday, July 10, two more rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Tel Aviv. Iron Dome intercepted one. By 9 am, 10 more landed in Negev sites. Between Wednesday midnight and Thursday morning, the Israeli Air Force and Navy had carried out 108 strikes in the Gaza Strip – 322 in 24 hours. Targeted were a weapons store, 5 arms manufacturing plants, 5 military compounds, 58 tunnels, 2 surveillance posts, 217 buried rocket launching pads, one command and control base and 46 homes of Hamas and Jihad Islami commanders.

In this time span, the Palestinians fired 234 rockets.

On Wednesday July 9, the second day of Operation Protective Edge, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that he had ordered its expansion “until the [Palestinian] shooting stopped.”

DEBKAfile‘s military sources say that the IDF high command replied that expansion would necessitate adding a ground incursion into the Gaza Strip to complement the air strikes. Enough equipment is present around the enclave but not enough troops. The call-up of 10,000 reservists did not meet requirements.

Since the prime minister had not yet provided them with specific orders, the air force continued to bomb rocket-related targets in Gaza, tallying strikes and publishing video clips of exploding targets and pillars of smoke.

But the facts in the field speak for themselves.

Despite the smoke and thunder, no senior Hamas commander or key command center has been hit – for lack of a clear directive. The Hamas chain of command is therefore still functioning.

This situation is fast developing into a standoff. Hamas leaders are perfectly aware of Israel’s dilemmas and quick to exploit them. They hear Netanyahu’s solemn words, but see for themselves that the concentration of IDF ground strength on the Gaza border is short of the numbers needed for an incursion and mobilizing them will take time.

Hamas is also listening to President Shimon Peres, who assured CNN that if Hamas holds its rocket fire, the IDF won’t go through with a ground incursion.

The Hamas rocket blitz has so far caused no Israeli fatalities thanks to a highly effective home defense system. On the Palestinian side, they are mounting, which they are beginning to use as a propaganda tool accompanied by vivid footage.

This situation decided Hamas Wednesday night to save its rockets, especially the more valuable ones with the longest range, and so confound Israeli predictions of another massive rocket blitz in store that would again widen out to reach Haifa.
Israel’s indecision about the next stage of Operation Protective Edge has given Hamas the time and breathing space it needs. Meanwhile, its most effective rockets for longer distances can be reserved for major confrontations.
And, meanwhile too, the perceived weakening of the government’s resolve and its reluctance to fix on a clear final objective have become fertile ground for self-doubts and unfounded rumors. The most damaging in circulation claimed that IDF and Air Force chiefs were complaining of a shortage of good intelligence for continuing their operations.

Our military sources confirm, without going into details on how much Israel knows about Hamas’ field setup, that the air force has all the intelligence it needs to carry on. What is lacking is not intelligence but a clear decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu about the operation’s ultimate goal and correlatively whether to go through with the ground operation necessary to complement the aerial operation. Until that is settled, Israel’s military operation against Hamas will continue to tread water.

July 11, 2014 | 8 Comments »

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8 Comments / 8 Comments

  1. Thank you Ted for the map, most useful. Many people here are confused by the reports and the maps will clear things up. News reports are spotty and the Pundit is often my only source of information.

  2. SHmuel HaLevi 2 Said:

    In South America the grandparent used to scare the kids with “el viejo de la bolsa” y “el kuko”, both scary characters of imagination.

    In Mexico, Texas, NM and the San Luis valley of CO its La LLorana.

  3. Recent History, Been There, Done That Before
    : Operation Cast Lead (2008)

    There is in Israel today a group of some 14 Chinese billionaires who are witnessing first hand Israel under rocket attack. They are not underwhelmed and indicate they are in complete accord with Israel.

    Barak tried to stop Gaza war behind my back, Olmert says in memoirs
    In draft of former prime minister’s yet-to-be-published autobiography, he claims the defense minister spoke with other countries’ foreign ministers about a ceasefire behind Olmert’s back.

    Olmert says Gaza war inevitable
    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that an all-out war against the Gaza Strip is inevitable.

    “If there’s one thing I regret — it’s that we didn’t finish the job back then — we cannot avoid the need to complete the job,” Olmert said, referring to the Gaza war while he was in office.

    “Israel cannot accept the presence of a terror entity in Gaza, which threatens the citizens of Israel, without taking action. Not random action, but controlled, precise and organized action with enough force to bring a change to the reality in Gaza,” Olmert was quoted as saying by Ynetnews.

    Israel and Gaza Where will it end?
    Nov 20th 2012,

    FOR most of his tenure, Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, seemed uncannily alert to the lesson taught by his predecessor against waging unnecessary wars. Ehud Olmert’s offensives in Lebanon and Gaza saw his popularity plummet from 85% in the first of days of 2006 Lebanon campaign to 3% in the months that followed, amid recriminations and a commission of enquiry into his war-time decision-making. The offensives not only cost him his re-election prospects but led to the loss of Israel’s strategic alliance with Turkey, and worsened its standing worldwide.

  4. @ SHmuel HaLevi 2:

    I mentioned how to finish off Gaza without risking the life of a single Israeli soldier. Retaking Gaza is not worth their lives. As for incinerating the vermin, we are in agreement but we know it isn’t going to happen. The folks who brought us Oslo are not going to admit their trucking with terrorists was a disaster for the country.

  5. @ NormanF:
    In South America the grandparent used to scare the kids with “el viejo de la bolsa” y “el kuko”, both scary characters of imagination.
    Netanyahu has all the means to destroy Hamas ranging from cutting off supplies, to blanket bombing that putrid cesspool.
    If special units need to go in, we have the means to make use of their expertise with limited risk.
    Unless of course if the generals send intentionally green recruits to killing fields.
    Scare tactics akin to “old man with the sack”, or the “kuko” are just that.
    Then again. Who seeded the mantra that soldiers may be killed? Are soldiers only good to assault Jews or are they there to attack the Islamic beasts?
    Soldiers are called upon to do a job of defense and war. Not just to advance the generals interests or harm fellow citizens.
    IF all other means above mentioned are used and fail to take down Hamas, then combine forces including ground forces and incinerate the vermin.

  6. Of course Israel won’t destroy Hamas. Its too prohibitive an undertaking and the most Israel can realistically do is “mow the grass.” Going into Gaza is going into a hornets’ nest and that is exactly what Hamas wants. I fully agree with what you say – but short of obliterating Gaza with a couple of neutron bombs, making short work of Hamas is a tall order, indeed.

  7. If Peres told “CNN” that, he did so with clearance from the State Military Censor Office who gets its orders from… Your guess.
    Peres is the local linchpin for the Peresite unJewish cadre, including Netanyahu, Livni, Lapid, Gal On, Zohabi, Aharonovich, Tibi, Mitzna, Gantz, Weinstein… and the rest of that pestilent cauldron.
    And Netanyahu will not destroy Hamas much as the rest of the ones before him never stopped Arafat, PLO or Jihad, etc. The imported and armed them, their proxies.
    To this day hundreds, thousands of supply trucks flow to Hamas from them plus free electricity, water, fuels, medical care, etc.
    I would not be surprised if much more is in Gaza with full knowledge of the speechster and his leader.
    Netanyahu WILL NOT destroy Hamas much as the lying traitor did not stop Iran or fully dealt with the African illegals. He released vast numbers of Islamic bestial murderers who returned to do their thing soon after.
    They ONLY know how to deny Jewish ownership to Jews, abandon Temple Mount and King David’s Mausoleum, destroy Jewish homes, torture Jews, detain at random Jews, deny free TV and radio to Jewish patriots, lie about construction, why they even denied service to the three children being kidnapped and have not yet caught the Islamic beasts that did that.
    Netanyahu will not allow that Hamas be terminated.