Killing of Four Soldiers is a Psychological Blow to the Israeli Army in Gaza

The killing of four Israeli soldiers in battles in north Gaza according to the Jewish army in the last 24 hours is devastating for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government. 

This means fighting has returned to the north of Gaza between the Israeli army and the Palestinian resistance as dominated by Izz Al Din Al Qassam and Saraya Al Quds fighters who are redeploying their forces in the north with great speed.

Just recently the Israeli army announced it has finally dominated the north of the Gaza Strip and that it is fully in control of this part of the enclave all the way down to Gaza city just above the center of the enclave.

Since the beginning of its military campaign after 7 October it said it wanted to divided Gaza into three ‘fighting sections’ – north, center and south – and this is how it will end the presence of the Palestinian resistance there.

But this is turning to be water off a duck’s back for Palestinian resistance fighters are fully prepared. Off course, Israelis keep saying they have dismantled Hamas infrastructure across the strip but such talk tends to be for public consumption in Tel Aviv who are clamoring for the stopping of the war and the return of their hostages – at 136 or so – probably hidden in deep underground tunnels by Hamas. 

The resistance is mushrooming back with greater force. There is no evidence that there fighting power has been drastically reduced despite the Israeli videos of their soldiers which also tend to be as a morale-boosting exercise.

The killing of two ranking officers and two others soldiers and talk of 10 injured among Israelis soldiers in skirmishes with the Palestinian resistance shows the battles are not abating – are going on in tandem with each other across the 360-kilometer enclave – and the Israeli army is not in control of the north at all and maybe down to square one!

The killing of an Israeli sniper in Tal Al Hawa which is to the west of Gaza city shows the Israelis are being fought all at once and upsetting their plans of moving to the third stage of the war as being planned by the Israeli army in conjunction with the Netanyahu war cabinet and its government.

They have been scaling down their brigades in the southern Khan Younis as well as north of Gaza and planning to create a kilometer-wide buffer security zone inside the edges of the territory manned with Israeli soldiers and hardware of tanks, bulldozers and troop carriers. 

But this latest spate of deaths mean it will not be safe for these Israelis stationed in the buffer zone because they will be subject to devastating attacks from ghost ‘Palestinian soldiers’ with their “carry on” but effective Yasin 105 missiles.

There is an alarming daily drainage among the Israeli soldiers. If they are not being killed, they are being injured in their thousands while many need psychological rehabilitation and laying in Israeli hospitals.

The bringing down of the Israeli sniper is likely to be a further psychological blow to the Israeli army and soldiers who initially thought they will end the Gaza military campaign in a matter of weeks. Frequently, and this is documented on social media, the soldiers who boasted about their “kill presence” in Gaza were all “neutralized” subsequently.

Israel is in trouble after 117 days of fighting in Gaza but the army egged on by extremist right-wing politicians see no way out but keep fighting.

Through their own admissions they say they face formidable fighters in Hamas and Islamic Jihad. They already admit 80 percent of the underground tunnels under the Gaza Strip are still intact which means frustration and worry since they already dropped thousands of tons of explosives on Gaza equaling three or four atomic bombs. 

One of those killed in north Gaza is a high-ranking officer in the elite Shaldag Unit of the Israeli Air Force who took part in the ruinous attacks of the Shifa Hospital and its destructive surrounding in central Gaza last November.

He is the 9th Israeli soldier to be killed in the unit which means morale among the Israeli tanks is rapidly sinking despite the stiff upper lips. 

There is no point in outlining the number of deaths and material among the Israeli soldiers for they are in their thousands with millions, if not billions of dollars to the Israeli treasury and on the face of it, the Gaza war seems to be an open season, for Israeli politicians, sitting in their chairs in Tel Aviv, predicting the war will go into 2026.

But this war has been devastating for Palestinians as well, proving the most apocalyptic of all Arab-Israeli wars since 1948. 

Dr Marwan Asmar is a writer based in Amman with contributions on Middle East Affairs.

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