12:03 am ET, October 22, 2023
Analysis: If Israeli troops move into Gaza, what happens next?
Analysis by CNN’s Ivana Kotasova
Gil Cohen Magen/AFP/Getty Images
Tal and Zach didn’t know how long they would be stationed in the so-called “Gaza enclave” of southern Israel, which had been attacked by the Israelis. Hamas terrorists Two weeks ago.
They said it could take weeks or months. “It’s the same for everyone. No one knows,” Chek told CNN at a military base not far from the airport Gaza border. The two young soldiers, whose surnames were not released by CNN for security reasons, serve in an Israel Defense Forces artillery unit that was moved to the area after Hamas militants killed 1,400 people. About 200 people were abducted On October 7.
Their division is part of a massive build-up of Israeli troops and military equipment along the Gaza border. In addition to its regular force, the IDF called up 300,000 reservists, who reported to their bases within hours. Across Israel, highways near major bases are lined with thousands and thousands of cars, abandoned by occupiers rushing to pick up weapons.
Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza now seems inevitable. On Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galand told troops gathered near the border that they would “see” the site soon. “From within,” Gaza says it will “never be the same”.
But what that function will look like is unknown. The IDF could launch a full-scale invasion or conduct more precise infiltrations aimed at rescuing hostages and targeting Hamas operatives.
What happens after that is an even bigger question. While the Israeli leadership talks about the need to eliminate Hamas, the plan for the future of Gaza and its more than 2 million people is unknown.
“There is a consensus that any path other than the total elimination of Hamas is terrible not just for Israel, but for the entire region, and then even the world,” said Harel Sorev, a senior researcher in Middle East studies at Tel Aviv University.
But Hassan Alhassan, research fellow for Middle East policy at the Institute for International Strategic Studies, said the plan to destroy Hamas could be dangerous and complicated — and could have unintended consequences.
“Because Hamas is so deeply entrenched within Gaza, its society and geography, to defeat them, Israel must undertake a permanent topographical and demographic transformation of the Gaza Strip — and that is already underway,” he told CNN.
“The concern, especially within Egypt, is that Israel’s strategy to make the humanitarian situation in Gaza more difficult is to ultimately force a mass exodus of Palestinians from Gaza to the Egyptian Sinai,” Alhassan said, adding that Egypt has the support of all Arab countries and cannot allow this.
“Jordanians are concerned that if they see a mass exodus of Palestinians from Gaza, it will set a precedent and that Israel’s right-wing government will try to solve the Palestinian issue once and for all by mass exodus from Gaza to Jordan from Egypt and the West Bank,” he added.
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