Tobias Borck, a senior research fellow for Middle East Security at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has warned the military ground offensive in Gaza will be “extremely destructive and bloody campaign.”
Israel has mobilised more than 360,000 Israeli reservists following the deadly Hamas terrorist attacks on 7 October.
Borck has warned that Israel military action severely risks an “escalation spiral” with Iranian proxies which could spark an Israel – Iran war.
In a clip uploaded to the RUSI website, he said, “I think the situation on the ground is very dynamic, but I think what we can say for certain is that we have a deeply hurt traumatised and angry Israel now reacting.”
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Borck explained, “The first scenario is that the conflict remains largely contained to Gaza and southern Israel.
That means there will most likely be a ground offensive by the Israeli military in the Gaza strip that will be a extremely destructive and bloody campaign.”
He continued, “Scenario two is that in reaction to that ground defences other groups and in particularly Hezbollah, and perhaps some other Iranian-backed groups in Syria, become involved in this conflict fully.
“We have seen some skirmishes along the Israeli Lebanese border, some skirmishes even across the Syrian border, but nothing of a major scale yet.
“But in the second scenario, I think there’s a real possibility of an escalation spiral that leads to a widening of this conflict.”
Borck added, “That said, what is going to happen over the next few weeks over the next few months is going to have regional implications on Israel’s immediate neighbours.
“Lebanon in particular where, as I said, Hezbollah is one potential combatant in this conflict going forward, in Syria too, but also for countries like Egypt, which of course shares a border with the Gaza Strip.
“The Hamas attack on the seventh of October as a sign of what can happen when conflicts are not addressed when underlying tensions are not addressed.
“When root causes of conflict to remain unaddressed, the destructive potential is enormous.”