Israel Is Winning the Battle with Hamas, but It’s Far from Over

The war Israel is fighting in Gaza is in many ways without precedent in the history of warfare, involving simultaneous combat both on the ground and below ground, against an enemy that has deeply embedded itself into the civilian infrastructure. In all of Israel, Yaakov Amidror observes in a highly revealing briefing, there is insufficient dynamite to destroy all of Hamas’s tunnels. That, he explains, accounts for the apparent slowness of Israel’s progress into Hamas’s strongholds. Among much else, Amidror outlines why the IDF’s repeated clashes with Hamas in the northern parts of the Strip (e.g., the recent fighting in Jabaliya) are signs of its success rather than its failures; what Israeli officials mean when they speak about “dismantling” Hamas; and how he knows that Palestinian civilians trust the IDF not to attack designated safe zones. He also addresses the problems entailed in confronting Hizballah in the north. (Video, 69 minutes.)

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7