Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Global SITREP C-20-14: The Hammer, the Anvil and the Crucible - A Joint Operation to Destroy HAMAS

IDF Merkava MBTs maneuver on Israeli side of the Gaza border. Egypt wants to see them on HAMAS side of the border.

16 July 2014 OPE Day 9: Israel security cabinet delays yet again the next logical military step against HAMAS in the face of an ever increasing and lethal barrage of rocket fire striking Israel. Here's my take on what I believe is the new dynamic at work here. 

One day after the so-called failure of the Egyptian ceasefire proposal it is becoming increasingly clear that the Egyptian plan was a tactical maneuver that was designed to fail - both Israel and Egypt knew in advance there was little if any chance of HAMAS accepting a ceasefire, just as there was no chance of Iran allowing its proxies to in Gaza; now that the war is on, it's on. The alleged "collapse" of the Egyptian proposal gave Israel an open door to begin operations to finish off HAMAS once and forever inside Gaza. Egypt, under the anti-Muslim Brotherhood-anti-HAMAS presidency of General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, would like nothing better than to play to role of the anvil and for Israel to play the role of the hammer, with HAMAS and the other jihadists being the molten metal coming out of the crucible they intend to make of Gaza. 

See Global SITREP A16-13 and Global SITREP A20-13 for the established background on the Egyptian-Israel Alliance. Those two SITREPs will powerfully illustrate the current de facto military alliance that has existed between Israel and Egypt since General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi's coup in Egypt against Mohamed Morsi and the al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun (Muslim Brotherhood) ever so briefly established rule in Egypt. It was only a about 7 months ago that Egypt was ready to launch a military operation against HAMAS in Gaza. 

At that time Israel was going to support the Egyptians fully as HAMAS was then attacking Egyptian troops in the Sinai after the coup against the MB government. Egypt was just that close to taking on HAMAS in Gaza. Now the roles are reversed, but the way forward is not perfectly clear and this is what I think is the delay in Israel going full tilt against HAMAS. The Netanyahu cabinet is looking for assurances that when the IDF is ordered into Gaza (the hammer) the Egyptians will act to the full extent of their military capabilities against HAMAS as well (the anvil). There is much at stake for both Israel and Egypt, and the potential future prophetic implications of this may well be found in both Isaiah 19 and Ezekiel 29.

First Update - OPE Day 9: A fairly detailed article in today's edition of the Jerusalem Post confirms what I posted within SITREP C16-14 on July 11 about the IDFs inevitable ground combat operations in Gaza. This report contains information that I have been reluctant to report concerning the number and type of roadside, tunnel and entire building IEDs HAMAS has prepostioned to greet the IDF on arrival. To his credit, some of PM Netanyahu's reluctance to dispatch the boots is based upon HUMINT on this issue presented to him by the IDF. The real surprises are in store for HAMAS, PIJ, et al.

Second Update - OPE Day 9: It appears as though a major - possibly last ditch - effort is underway by various foreign governments in trying to convince HAMAS that it is in their best interests to make a serious attempt towards an immediate ceasefire. This is not so much for the benefit of the terrorists, but for the estimated 80,000 civilians that remain imminently in harms way. These are the civilians which HAMAS has cajoled or otherwise pressured into remaining in what will soon be a full-scale warzone. Israel has done and will do its utmost to preserve the sanctity of human life irregardless of the hostility they may hold for Israel. HAMAS and the rest of the Islamic jihadists have no such compelling morals as has been clearly demonstrated with their rocketry targeting civilians, both Arab and Israeli within Israel and Gaza (at least 100 of HAMAS and PIJ rockets have landed in Gaza). Israel now has about as many front line combat troops arrayed against HAMAS and PIJ in Gaza as it had on all fronts in the June 1967 Arab-Israel war. And Israel has just called up another 8,000.

First Update - OPE Day 10: It's well after midnight in Israel (8PM EDT/5PM PDT in the US), so we're firmly into the 10th Day of Operation Protective Edge.

The news at this time is that a "humanitarian" cease fire has reportedly been agreed to according to many OSINT reports. The cease fire, also known in Islamic, particularly in Egyptian Ikhwan conceptual terms, as a "hudna." A hudna is merely a tactical ploy that came into being via an Egyptian imam between the 1948 and 1967 Arab-Israel wars. It is the means by which Muslims engaged in kinetic jihad against the infidel enemy (i.e. Israel) can 'legally' take a breather from the combat, re-arm, push their logistical efforts forward or generally take advantage of a very temporary situation after which cold-blooded murder of the Jews can continue with relish.

There is absolutely nothing "humanitarian" in the Judeo-Christian sense about an Islamic hudna, especially when it comes to the land of Israel which to Muslims is a Dar al-Harb; that is a land where incessant war must be waged until it becomes conquered and therefore Dar al-Islam, or Muslim land.

In Israeli/Hebrew terms, which in no way correlate to the Egyptian Islamic hudna concept, a cease fire is referred to as hafsakat esh, and is essentially a true cease for a given duration of time unless Israel should learn that the terrorists plan to resume their attack prior to the official end of the hudna. At that point Israel may strike first to bring the ceasefire/hafsakat esh to its conclusion.  The hudna/hafsakat esh agreed to for later today is scheduled to run from 10 AM to 3 PM Israel time. Until then the war continues uninterrupted. A totally ridiculous situation in my opinion; political nonsense. War is war.

Second Update - OPE Day 10: So much for the second non-starter ceasefire. It appears to have been a very large ruse through which a dozen or more strong HAMAS commando team of would have infiltrated well into Israel and attacked. HAMAS commandos were are with RPGs, SAWs (squad automatic machine guns), explosives and assault weapons. It appears that Israel had acquired HUMINT indicating when and where the infiltration would occur. The terrorists were observed by the pre-positioned IDF troops as they began emerging from the tunnel exit inside Israel. After the majority of the terror commando team had emerged from the tunnel the IDF brought down withering fire upon them and an IAF strike destroyed the tunnel. Apparently there were no survivors as there is no report of any prisoners being taken.

A second terrorist infiltration event occurred in Israel's northern Negev Desert along a line from Ofakim, to Be'er Sheva to Dimona. Heavy IDF special forces and security responded, all major highways and roads were secured to all traffic.The 'all clear' was given about twenty minutes ago. Over in Gaza, the IDF hacked into Local TV to broadcast a message that southern Gaza residents must evacuate their homes immediately.

Third Update - OPE Day 10: The ground offensive looks very likely, but there is still a small chance that it could be cancelled, or curtailed. Almost certainly curtailed. A limited invasion. It seems that PM Netanyahu has now laid all of his cards on the table for all to see... even the enemy, and that has to be very, very encouraging for them.

What the short-sighted PM Bibi Netanyahu has just got done saying is that he'd rather not preempt Gazan participation in a coming multi-front war.  A reasonable Israeli military commander would rather not have to split his military forces onto three fronts in any land war; he would opt to remove one front from any consideration if the circumstances presented themselves for him to do so. And right now Netanyahu has an ally in President el-Sissi of Egypt who would like nothing better than to see HAMAS, the Egyptian MBs heavily armed wing, completely neutralized as long as good care is taken to inflict as few civilian casualties as would be possible.

So, Bibi is scared and afraid to wield the overwhelming power he has at his fingertips. Much too scared; much to afraid. But how much more scared will he be when the time comes and Gaza, the Sinai, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Golan all become active fronts in an existential war? I believe Bibi will wish at that time that he went ahead and secured Israel's entire southern frontier  when he had the chance. Thank God Bibi was not Israel's PM in 1948, 1967 and 1973!

Egypt will not likely remain an ally of Israel indefinitely if, as Bibi now plans, HAMAS is allowed to survive. HAMAS and their MB allies will return their focus on el-Sissi's Egypt for their betrayal of the Islamic cause, and then they'll come back at Israel with the Egyptian military's full arsenal. The time to kill HAMAS permanently is right now, but Netanyahu look like he's going to pass on that. Even if the IDF armor and boots go into Gaza, they will not go in with orders to annihilate HAMAS. That is bad news, really bad news.

Final Update for OPE Day 10:  Yes, the imminent ground op got underway as I was focused on the Russian war crime in Donetsk, Ukraine. But that's another issue entirely.

Yes, the IDF ground op is massive, but according to PM Netanyahu (as detailed in the previous update) this mission does not have as its objective the total destruction of HAMAS, or to effect a regime change in Gaza, or otherwise revert control of Gaza back to Israel as it had been prior to 2005. The objective is to demilitarize HAMAS, the PIJ and the other armed Salafist jihadis in Gaza. The objective is to restore quiet and do so in a manner that it will take HAMAS years to reconstitute any offensive military capability for use against Israeli civilians. In sum, and at this point, the IDF has not been ordered to go in for the kill, but for a military neutering of HAMAS, et al.

Moreover, as with any and every war, no battle plan however well conceived and executed survives much past initial contact with the enemy. Case in evidence... the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. A couple weeks of rolling over an enemy that simply melted away from the battlefield resulted in almost a decade of occupational mission creep and nation building on a totally unsuitable foundation. Mission creep is as likely to plague the IDF in Gaza as it did US forces in OIF, and OEF for that matter. Secondly, this battle plan appears to assume all other Islamic jihadists in the region (such as Iran/Hezbollah/Syria or even the Islamic State) will just benignly stand by and allow the IDF to neuter the Islamic sacred bull in Gaza without so much as a peep.

 

18 comments:

Bruce Bridges said...

Could Hamas possibly be using this time before the ground invasion to their advantage, to prepare their bomb-filled tunnels and other defenses?

Sean Osborne said...

Bruce,

Those defense were well-prepared in advance of the first HAMAS rocket being fired right after the abduction of murder of the three teens.

This is the other side of the coin - which has not been heretofore openly discussed by PM Netanyahu.

Bibi's reluctance to send in the boots also is based upon detailed HUMINT intelligence data regarding the underground preps (thousands of IEDs, etc) that HAMAS, et al, have put into place. This is why HAMAS has been begging for the the IDF to invade.

That invasion will come, but probably not on the terms HAMAS is counting on.

NG said...

Hi Sean, I have read Hamas as got chemical weapons. Do you know if it is actually the case? If yes, do you think Hamas may consider using them against IDF in case it enteres Gaza?

Sean Osborne said...

NG,

That is something that has been brought up in the past. In 2002, and more recently in 2012.

Is it a fact?

Possibly, no one knows for sure that i am aware of.

However, with the direct involvement of the IRGC-QF in this war one should not be surprised if binary chemical weapons suddenly appear in Gaza, or in a rocket warhead over Israel.

HAMAS has attempted to use a weapon of mass destruction in trying to strike the Dimona nuclear complex with its largest missiles.

HAMAS has even sent messages to Israelis in that area saying that containment of the reactor has been breached by a missile strike.

The bottom line is that WMD is firmly in the forefront of HAMAS thinking during this war.

Leod said...

Sean,

Bibi's reaction…or inaction has me concerned but not from the traditional perspective. I am wondering how much arm twisting and threatening our country (i.e.. this administration) is putting on Israel to hold back. Although Obama says the right thing (no nation can live with barrages of missile attacks) the truth, like everything else coming out of DC is likely different than the narrative. Is Bibi being told that if they attack, no more funding, missiles and armament, military cooperation, etc.? Personally, I feel that Bibi is too smart for that…and knows he has to do what he has to do. The court of public opinion will never be won by Israel. Time to fight and destroy this enemy. I just believe there are some very powerful threats being made which makes our nation one against Israel.

Maranatha_Mark said...

Hey Sean,

The JewishPress.com had the video of those Hamas commandos emerging from their tunnel and the IDA response! It didn't look like anyone survived the strike! I love it when the bad guys take it in the teeth! I know that might not be worthy of a Follower of Yeshua, but I love seeing evil thwarted!

Maranatha! Mark

Sean Osborne said...

Leod,

Both in the House and the Senate of Congress there is overwhelming and unrelenting bipartisan support for Israel. This is true also of the general public in the US as it is also very pro-Israel.

This is where we have Israel's back.

More importantly, and according the angel Gabriel to Daniel, the archangel Michael and his heavenly army of the angelic host are due to stand up for Israel shortly.

Sean Osborne said...

Maranatha_Mark,

Yeah, I watched that video earlier today. Their tactics were awful. Good tactical spacing at first, then they all bunched up, and it wasn't but a couple seconds before that team were on their way to eternity.

What I was unsure off was the status of the remainder of the infiltration force (other teams with different objectives) still in the tunnel: i.e. were they all killed in the air strike or the concussive blast wave.

Also, that was a very long tunnel, so there could have been many others knocked unconscious and captured in the mop-up operation.

Sean Osborne said...

Either a booby-trap or a UXO (Un-eXploded Ordnance) detonated in the tunnel during the mop-up operation. One IDF soldier has been wounded.

Roz said...

Sean, great reporting!!

Sean Osborne said...

Thanks Roz.

Now see the most recent update; it is basically the bad news that indicates the title of this SITREP is not going to happen after-all.

Bruce Bridges said...

Wow... Netanyahu's actions are directly necessary in order for prophecy to be fulfilled!!!!

I see now how Gaza/Philistia will survive to be included along with the rest of the enemy fronts in Zephaniah 2:4 and Psalm 83:7!!!

NG said...

Ground offensive started at around 8.30pm GMT Thursday according to I24news.com

NG said...

Israeli PM Office authorizes ground operation in Gaza

http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/37055-140713-liveblog-army-warns-gaza-residents-of-noon-attack

Roz said...

Via Lucianne.com

'NETANYAHU HAS ANNOUNCED GROUND OFFENSIVE INTO GAZA HAS BEGUN White House placed on lockdown; cause not yet known;
reporters being told to stay in press area
(ABC News)
President Obama in NYC to raise money for Democratic primary'

Is this just a modified invasion? Or is Netanyahu going full throttle?

Ken B said...

Sean,

Apparently the ground war has begun? I'm sure you are on top of it...

Ken

hartdawg said...

A battle where the goal is not totally victory does an extreme disservice to the troops and is a recipe for disaster. Look at Vietnam and Korea

Sean Osborne said...

Precisely.

This is not a battle.

The war between Islam and Israel is existential, and that is the only way it should be fought by Israel.

What jihadist pulls his punches or his suicide vest or his car bomb, his bus bomb, his IED... yada, yada, yada.

Wars must be fought to be won unconditionally.

If that means breaking all of the enemies weapons and killing every last one of his soldiers... so be it, but that is the way such a war against such an enemy must be fought.

Anything else is a foolhardy waste of lives and the national treasury.