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It Will Be “Hamas’s Problem,” As The IDF War Room Plans “Something Off The Beaten Path”

By tom On Sunday, October 15 th, 2023 · no Comments · In And more news stories ,Blog Postings ,News stories ,Writing

By Tom Squitieri
Red Snow News
TEL AVIV, Israel — Four stories deep underground, the war room in the Kirya — Israel’s version of the Pentagon — is buzzing. A few hours earlier, the Israeli government gave Palestinians living in Gaza 24 hours to move south for their own safety.

How they were to do that was not part of the war room buzz. Instead the key clarion offered by those in the war room is “we will have to be disruptive.”

That does not bode for an easy time for the 1.1 million Palestinians who are expected to move south for presumed safety. Nor does it portend well for the thousands of Israeli soldiers who are expected to move street by street, house by house, warren by warren, and tunnel by tunnel to flush out and kill Hamas fighters.

“I assume that we will move quickly,” a senior member of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) said in an interview. “Now we are in a fight greater than we have seen before.”

The senior IDF official spoke only on the condition he not be identified. He was unperturbed about the impact on innocent Palestinians.

‘That will be Hamas’s problem,” he said. “Again, we are at war.”

Israel has called for the evacuation of 1.1 million residents in north Gaza to move south in the next 24 hours, a deadline that seems to have begun. The United Nations considers it “impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” it said in a statement.

Israel’s military offered residents of Gaza a three-hour midday window to leave via a main highway, but Gaza’s Health Ministry refused to evacuate hospitals.

“There is nowhere in Gaza that can accept the number of patients in our intensive care unit or neonatal intensive care unit or even the operating rooms,” said Dr. Muhammad Abu Salima, the director of Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical complex.

Agreeing that Israel has failed repeatedly to beat down and destroy Hamas in the past, the senior IDF official said to expect “something off the beaten path” in the upcoming assault.

Just what path that may be is unclear amidst the frenetic meld of bodies and images and pulses in the war room, the duel between the unknowns of concerns and the determination of retribution — the place where the IDF displays its emotions of its heart and steeliness of its brain.

The High Command Center at Kirya is nicknamed “the Pit.” It is the underground war room in the heart of Tel Aviv, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All operations, both overt and covert, which the IDF guides over land, sea and air, emanate from the Pit.

Ironically, it is near the site of the first-ever unconcealed Haganah attack on a British installations in 1947.

Access by swipe cards, whose codes repeatedly change, the war room has multiple screens against one of its olive green walls, sometimes showing unedited footage being taken by IDF camera persons on the front lines — and elsewhere.

The debate, the directions, the decisions, are hashed out around a conference table in the center of the room, made with cedar wood from Galilee.

U.S. officials are privately urging Israel to abide by the laws of war. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in a press briefing with Israel defense Minister Yoav Gallant, said, “ My experience in working with the Israeli forces is they are professional, they’re disciplined and they are focused on the right things.  And so I expect that going forward, they will continue to exhibit that same degree of professionalism that we’ve seen in the past.”

Austin added, “The international community fought ISIS who in some cases was embedded deeply in built-up areas, and that international coalition fought valiantly and protected civilians and created corridors for humanitarian movement even in the midst of a pretty significant fight.  So again, this is a professional force.  It is well led and I have every expectation that it will be disciplined.”

He said that “we’d be more than happy to share with our allies here, in terms of operating effectively in dense urban terrain, creating safe humanitarian corridors, making sure that we’re thoughtful about how we shape the battle and making sure that, you know, our objectives are well-defined and so we’ll continue to share the lessons that we’ve learned over the years.”

Gallant insisted that “Israel never and ever, will not shoot civilians on purpose.  Therefore we are asking all the civilians in Gaza City to go south of Gaza.  And the reason is that because we don’t want to harm them.”

However, he added that “the camouflage of the terrorists is the civil population.  Therefore we need to separate them.” He made it clear that “We are going to destroy Hamas infrastructures, Hamas headquarters, Hamas military establishment, and take these phenomena out of Gaza and out of the Earth.  They cannot live among human civilized people.”

That was the same word coming from the war room.

“Our soldiers became lazy because they trusted technology,” the senior IDF official said. Not this time, he said.

This time, Israel will get the solution that has eluded them, despite previous vows and boasts to end Hamas once and for all. This time, the military will make sure “they won’t be able to do it again,” the IDF official said.

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