Israel-Palestine Escalation
Israel was hit by an unprecedented rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on October 7, with Hamas movement's troops infiltrating border areas. On October 8, the Israeli government announced that it had invoked Article 40 of the Basic Law, which means the country was officially in a state of war.

What Does Israel Expect From Current Conflict?

© AFP 2023 YOUSEF HASSOUNAThis image grab from an AFP TV footage shows balls of fire and smoke rising above Gaza City during an Israeli strike on October 27, 2023, as battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement continue
This image grab from an AFP TV footage shows balls of fire and smoke rising above Gaza City during an Israeli strike on October 27, 2023, as battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement continue - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 28.10.2023
On October 7, Palestinian group Hamas launched an offensive against Israel. The Jewish state responded with a large-scale military operation against the Gaza Strip and a complete blockade, cutting off water, food, electricity, medicine, and fuel. More than 8,000 people have been killed on both sides since the conflict escalated.
Israel is prepared for a long fight to achieve its strategic goals, professor and former Israel Defense Forces colonel Gabi Siboni told Sputnik.

"We are prepared and ready to go at any moment that our government will decide that we need to go for this phase," emphasized Siboni, who serves as a senior consultant to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and other Israeli security organizations and the security industry.

The pundit, who also headed the Military and Strategic Affairs Program and Cyber Security Program at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (INSS) in 2006-2020, was referring to the fact that Israel appears to be preparing for the next phase of its military operation, a ground campaign to "crush and destroy" Hamas, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu termed it.
The military wing of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades, said on Friday that its fighters are engaged in a clash with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) near Beit Hanoun in northeast Gaza Strip.
"The Qassam Brigades are resisting the Israeli army's incursion into Beit Hanoun and east of Bureij, and there are violent clashes on the ground," the military wing said in a statement.

"[The] Gaza Strip is a small area. So you cannot have too many maneuver abilities. But anyway, the IDF is well prepared and we have enough forces to deal both with the northern front, and the Gaza front, and also the internal front. We are ready for that. It will not be easy, it will be a difficult war. It is never easy, we will have to pay prices. I'm sure that once we decide, we will achieve our goals. It will be a long and very difficult fight. But we will achieve our goals in the end," Siboni said.

Soldiers walk in front of an Israeli police station that was damaged during battles to dislodge Hamas militants who were stationed inside, on October 8, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.10.2023
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Amid media reports and video footage of large-scale airstrikes taking place across the Gaza Strip, and reports of tank fire, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari made a televised address on Friday evening, saying that his country was "prepared on all fronts to preserve Israel's security," and forces were "expanding their ground operations." "IDF is operating in all dimensions in order to achieve the goals of the war," underscored Hagari. The spokesman added that Israel was committed to ensuring the return of hostages being held by Hamas inside Gaza. The Palestinian militant group is estimated to be holding about 220 Israeli nationals, after previously releasing several people on "humanitarian" and "poor health grounds" in the wake of talks facilitated by Egypt and Qatar.
The pundit weighed in on efforts of the current Israeli leadership, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in particular, to cobble together a "global alliance", with Washington's aid, to win the war against Hamas.
"I think that our leadership, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, is really operating in this direction. I wrote an article two days ago about the bear hug of America, because they hug us, yes, but we will have to pay some costs for this hug. But I think Netanyahu is playing this game quite cleverly and trying to find the best way to achieve this global coalition [...] And we are trying to do it also in reference with our kidnapped Israeli civilians in Gaza strip. We have to find a way to manage that as well. And in my personal belief, the only way to free them is only by force, and by our next phase operation in Gaza," he said
Indeed, soon after the Hamas attack in Israel in early October, US President Joe Biden hurried to Tel Aviv to meet with PM Netanyahu and express unwavering support for Israel, its closest non-NATO ally, which it has long been providing with billions in assistance each year. On this occasion Biden arrived with promises of massive new military aid, and touting the aircraft carrier strike groups sent to the eastern Mediterranean as a signal to regional actors like Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iran. Meanwhile, as Israeli forces continue to pound the enclave with airstrikes and artillery, ratcheting up the civilian death toll in Gaza, tensions on the Israeli-Lebanese border remain high. Lebanese-based Hezbollah has threatened repercussions against Israel if Tel Aviv proceeds with its announced ground operation in the Gaza Strip.
 In this May 31, 2019 file photo, Hezbollah fighters march at a rally to mark Jerusalem day or Al-Quds day, in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon. On Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah revealed that his militant group has 100,000 trained fighters. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 12.10.2023
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Furthermore, as the civilian death toll grows, a humanitarian catastrophe has been unfolding in Gaza, with its population of 2.1 million people. Fuel, food, and medical supplies are fast running out, there is no electricity, and, most recently, internet and phone services went down. A resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza was overwhelmingly passed by the United Nations General Assembly on October 27, calling for release of all civilians, the protection of civilians, and ensuring safe passage of humanitarian aid into the enclave. However, both Israel and the United States rejected calls for a ceasefire contained in the nonbinding initiative put forward by Jordan and a swathe of Arab countries.
Across the globe, protesters have been voicing support for Palestinians in Gaza, while also warning of the risk of the Palestine-Israel conflagration mushrooming into a wider Middle East conflict.

"I just want to go back to the opportunity to orchestrate [...] at least a new security architecture in the region [...] And this, I think, is the ultimate goal of this war. And we have to make sure that this opportunity that we got at such a high price – that we do not lose this opportunity, and, hopefully, we will not lose it, and make sure that we get the most out of this horrific and terrible attack of Hamas," Siboni added.