The Israeli military are facing “one of the most difficult operations” in history, according to a former British Army chief of the general staff.
General Lord Dannatt said the Israeli army are facing a “nightmare” in the Gaza Strip as they fighting in an urban environment and at all costs they will have to avoid killing any hostages.
The Israeli military also have to contend with around 400 kilometres of underground tunnel networks where Hamas fighters are based and hostages.
Lord Dannatt said the Israelis will have to “smoke Hamas out” and it is likely that Israel could be in this war for the “long haul.”
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He said, “In the annals of military history, this is going to be one of the most difficult operations that any army has got to carry out: How to try and achieve their objective of destroying Hamas without being complicit in the killing of over 230 hostages.
“It is a real nightmare, and frankly, it is going to be a challenge and I can’t see easily how the Israelis are going to do it other than be there for the long haul and hope eventually to smoke Hamas out.”
Lord Dannatt said that Hamas could benefit from any ceasefire, this will allow them to regroup, reassess and restore their positions.
He added, “The Israelis have got to keep proportionality very much in mind in a set of circumstances with densely populated areas.”
On Wednesday the Israeli military dropped flyers from the sky warning Palestinians inside Gaza that an invasion is now “imminent,” mal-Arabiya reported.
The Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a stern warning to Hamas they must either “die or to surrender unconditionally.”
In a televised speech Gallant said, “There is no third option,” addressing the militant group directly.
Haniyeh accused Israel of “committing barbaric massacres against unarmed civilians,” adding, “Its villainy will not save them from resounding defeat,” he vowed in a speech broadcast by Al Jazeera.
He then warned that there cannot be any regional stability unless the Palestinians have “legitimate rights to freedom, independence and return.”