Israel Counts its Losses in Beit Hanoon 

Israel Soldiers

After eight months, the Israeli army returns to Biet Hanoon, right in the northern tip of Gaza to try and win the day but with no apparent success.

Biet Hanoon was the launch pad for the Israeli army in starting their ground war on 27 October 2023. Since then, Israeli battalions were supposed to have ‘combed’ the area from Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters. From this point, Israeli soldiers went down to Biet Lahia, Jabalia, Gaza city destroying everything in their path; and downwards to Khan Younis and now Rafah in the far south of the enclave.

Today, the Israeli army are returning to battle in these areas because it is finding out the pockets of Palestinian resistance still exist on a mass scale in the northern areas. Thousands of fighters still exist with their guns, launchers, missiles and homemade bombs. They mushroom from underground tunnels to the private dismay and frustration of the Israelis.

It’s been 12 days since the Israelis launched their attacks on the Jabalia camp; they are still trying to subdue and control it. Up till now, they are still on the outskirts of the camp. They are doing a lot of damage to it but that is because they are striking from the air through their destructive bomber jets. 

The Israeli army is still unable to enter its downtown core but are bombing its only functioning Kamal Al Adwan hospital, residential homes and shops as well as killing people. It’s sheer vandalism and willful destruction.

Despite their losses in tanks, armored vehicles and soldiers and increasingly being made by new resistance strategies and innovative indigenous bombs like ‘thunderstorm packs’ and the ‘fragment packs’, the Israeli army are determined to search for illusive successes in Gaza but this is far from being attained.

In Beit Hanoon for instance, they appear to be failing badly, confirming what many, including former Israeli leading military leaders are saying ‘you can’t beat Hamas’. Recently, in fact just as they targeted Biet Hanoon Palestinian snipers were at the ready. In what is described as a complex boobytrap operation they shot three soldiers all at once, and one of them is a high ranking officer. 

Such operation is likely to dampen morale on the Israeli army, which is already low and to boost the psychological standing of the Palestinian resistance of Islamic, nationalist and leftist perspective and despite the fact that this Israeli war has long resulted in the slaughter of civilians and destruction of their homes and basic infrastructural amenities.

Biet Hanoon is a sprawling agricultural area. It has long been leveled to the ground on the heads of its civilian population. But the Israeli warplanes and troops, if they can, want to destroy more. But like in other destroyed towns and cities they are not likely to win because of the resistance fighters who seem to come out of nowhere with their military paraphernalia.

Dr Asmar is an Amman-based writer covering Middle East affairs.

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