Hamas-Israeli War 2023

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koxinga

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Singapore has traditionally being Israel's closest ally, stretching all the way from independence. So far, it has always kept a balanced view, articulating Israel's right to self defense for the Oct 7 attacks, and repeatedly turning down attempts by various parties to host pro-Palestinian debates in country.

So is somewhat unusually that the FM has gone on record to indicate that the current military response has gone beyond what it deems reasonable/proportionate.

 

Big_Zucchini

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Singapore has traditionally being Israel's closest ally, stretching all the way from independence. So far, it has always kept a balanced view, articulating Israel's right to self defense for the Oct 7 attacks, and repeatedly turning down attempts by various parties to host pro-Palestinian debates in country.

So is somewhat unusually that the FM has gone on record to indicate that the current military response has gone beyond what it deems reasonable/proportionate.

It's interesting to me how some would define proportionality when the very nature of war necessitates disproportionality and overwhelming action.
 

koxinga

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It's interesting to me how some would define proportionality when the very nature of war necessitates disproportionality and overwhelming action.
"Some" being me or Singapore? Be specific.

No one argues how war works. Armed forces exist to do precisely that to overwhelm and utterly destroy the enemy.

The question of proportionality comes when we consider 1) Hamas ability to inflict harm to Israeli has been significantly degraded in the short to medium term 2) infrastructure to support the present civilian population has been largely destroyed and is causing difficulties to sustain this population.

Even if the intention is to complete the stated objectives of (a) complete destruction of Hamas (b) rescuing all hostages, does Israel need to maintain the current operational tempo and scale?

This is what I (not Singapore) meant by proportionality.
 

Big_Zucchini

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"Some" being me or Singapore? Be specific.
Singapore.

Even if the intention is to complete the stated objectives of (a) complete destruction of Hamas (b) rescuing all hostages, does Israel need to maintain the current operational tempo and scale?
Logically yes. I believe a higher tempo would deliver overall better results. The sooner Hamas can be destroyed, the sooner the war can end and mass demolition and restoration works can begin.
But Israel does not alone control the tempo. Global pressure and negotiations are impacting it, effectively putting the IDF on hold for several weeks, which in turn amplified everyone's suffering.
 

Big_Zucchini

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At 04:00 AM Israel time, 29th February, a mass casualty event occurred in northern Gaza.
The incident is currently being investigated. A short summary of things is linked below
Since that post was made, the IDF released information that the event included at least 2 separate incidents. One in which a stampede occurred plus gunfire toward the trucks by armed gangs, and another in which Palestinians approached an IDF force which then fired in fear of an attack. In the second incident the IDF says fewer than 10 people were killed. Hamas claims a total of 107 casualties across the entire event.
 

Vivendi

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This is terrible news. I hope Israel will allow an independent investigation -- by third parties that can be trusted by both Israel and Palestinians to investigate as objectively and unbiased as possible. In the long run I think it would benefit Israel, no matter what the findings may be.
 

Big_Zucchini

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This is terrible news. I hope Israel will allow an independent investigation -- by third parties that can be trusted by both Israel and Palestinians to investigate as objectively and unbiased as possible. In the long run I think it would benefit Israel, no matter what the findings may be.
Third parties have been present and investigated with physical IDF support (accessibility) throughout the entire war. It is highly unlikely to be any different now.
The IDF's own investigative bodies are good, but the reliability of "preliminary reports" is not very good.
 

Vivendi

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Third parties have been present and investigated with physical IDF support (accessibility) throughout the entire war. It is highly unlikely to be any different now.
Thanks for the information. Do you know who those third parties are, or which countries and/or organizations they come from?
 

Big_Zucchini

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Thanks for the information. Do you know who those third parties are, or which countries and/or organizations they come from?
Foreign press agencies, journalists etc. Private bodies essentially. Expect something from NYT in a month.


EDIT:
For the sake of better understanding the situation and informational war, it should be on record that Hamas initially claimed it was a strike that resulted in these deaths.
Source: Times of Israel citing IDF and Hamas health ministry.

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Big_Zucchini

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Abu ali argues that for such a (allegedly) mass casualty event, documentation of casualties is incredibly scarce.
I agree with that argument. The claim of ~100 dead and hundreds injured made is Hamas. There is internet coverage and electricity in Gaza, as well as international media and their assets on the ground.

IDF claims 13,000 Hamassies were killed, including ~450 in the last 10 days.

Timelapse of sat footage over Khan Younis, where the IDF currently concentrates its primary effort and the southernmost AO before Rafah.
 
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Big_Zucchini

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Egyptian driver complains of being attacked for bringing aid to Gaza. It is more difficult to find footage of aid trucks coming in that aren't being pelted with rocks, than ones that do.

While it does discourage drivers from volunteering for this job, I'm sure there are still plenty who are willing to go in nonetheless. Yet aid deliveries are an increasingly difficult task. As Gazans return to the north, so are Hamas and other armed gangs who have an interest in violently stealing the aid for themselves. This complexity is likely what caused the west to shift more toward airdrops.

An IDF drone broadcasting messages to the people in Gaza. I haven't seen this before.

I'm sure this video was posted for the laughs but I think it demonstrates well the average depth of Hamas tunnels, which contributes to the difficulty of locating and mapping them:

When holding an area and seemingly "ending" a maneuver, one of the first things lost is a sense of initiative. A static force is an easy target. This is a lesson the IDF learned, or should have learned, during its operations in the security belt in Lebanon between 1985-2000.
It is therefore encouraging to see the IDF maintains the initiative even in such areas. Admittedly, Khan Younis is still the "hottest" area. The 98th division is a light division consisting of para, commando, and fire brigades.
Together with the IAF they reportedly conducted strikes on 50 Hamas targets in 6 minutes. Swift action is destabilizing, and destabilizing action prevents Hamas's reorganization and a coherent C2. What Gaza veterans often talk about regarding the operation is how central is the effort to deny Hamas any C2 capabilities.
 

Big_Zucchini

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98th Division is currently in the 2nd day of a maneuver in Hamad town on the outskirts of Khan Younis.
Hamad town is a wealthy neighborhood that was previously untouched during the war. Now it is extensively touched.


IDF reportedly destroyed Hamas's ability to carry out operations in Khan Younis, leaving them with only guerilla warfare tactics. It also reportedly took a significant number of prisoners and destroyed ~20km of tunnels.
It is worth mentioning that "destruction" is a loose term when it comes to tunnels. They could have simply been blocked at their entrances, or they could have been collapsed entirely. Or they could have been flooded (less relevant for Khan Younis due to distance from sea). Many options with different implications.
The reporter himself (Amir Bohbot) is okay at delivering a general picture but it's best not to quote him on numbers.
 
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Big_Zucchini

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Largest tunnel so far in northern Gaza that was discovered in December 2023 and studied since then, has now been demolished. The videos suggest it was a combination of blast (first video) and by pouring cement (second video).
This further highlights how the IDF approaches the issue of tunnels with precision and thought, rather than some blanket policy to flood or blast every tunnel in sight.
If a tunnel is fully accessible and reaches urban areas, it is arguably better to demolish it by filling it with cement to maintain structural stability of the ground to avoid the creation of sinkholes. There have been quite a few instances of entire buildings in Gaza collapsing following the collapse of tunnels underneath them.

Egypt taking some measures against Palestinian nationalism at home:
 
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