‘We Lost the North’ – The Math of Israel’s Military Defeat in Gaza

Israel's ground operation in Gaza is not going very well. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Editors

Despite the tough demeanor, strong language and black attires, the war for Israel is not going very well.

“The war cabinet has lost the north.” That was a short tweet on Saturday by former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Lieberman’s words do not require much explanation, simply because Israel is currently facing one of its greatest military defeats in all of its previous wars against Palestinians, in fact, Arab armies. 

Despite the tough demeanor, strong language and black attires donned by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz, the war for Israel is not going very well. 

The previous announcement was on November 12, when Abu Obeida declared the destruction of more than 160 military vehicles (including tanks, military bulldozers, armored personal carriers etc). 

Understandably, the Resistance cannot keep track of all Israeli soldiers killed or wounded, but is able to estimate, based on documented footage of what it considers “direct hits”.

Israel, Playing with Numbers

On Saturday, Israel admitted to the killing of six more officers and soldiers, in addition to the serious wounding of eight others.

True to form, Israel always finds ways to hide its military losses, while exaggerating the losses of its civilians. 

A perfect example of this were the events of October 7, when Israel claimed that over 1,400 civilians were killed, only to slowly change the ratio between its military and civilian losses. 

Then, later, it created yet more categories, differentiating between military, border police, intelligence officers, and armed settlement guards.

Furthermore, it eventually downgraded the overall number of casualties on that day by 200, claiming that they were the charred remains of Palestinian fighters. 

That raised yet more questions about how many of Israel’s own civilian casualties were killed in Israeli bombardment, particularly by Apache helicopters, which did not distinguish between Qassam fighters and Israel’s own civilians and settlers. 

Ground Operation Gone Awry 

It was obvious that the Israeli ground war is going badly in northern Gaza, for these reasons: 

  • Documented evidence by the Resistance of countless Israeli tanks being blown up or damaged in direct hits, especially using Yassin 105 anti-artillery missiles, along with other improvised RPGs.
  • The Israeli military’s inability to establish permanent and defensible military bases inside Gaza. 
  • The total lack of credibility of official Israeli reports about the progress of the battles, and its inability to document any significant achievement.
  • The pathetic display at Al-Shifa and other hospitals, where Israeli military spokesmen tried to convince world audiences that baby diapers and a laptop were proof that Hamas is using hospitals for military purposes. 
  • The declaration by the Israeli military that Israel will be taking its ground operations to the south of Gaza – even though no real progress has been achieved in the north. 

Doing the Math

Back to Abu Obeida’s numbers .. 

According to satellite images analyzed by Al-Jazeera, 383 military vehicles entered Gaza at the start of the ground operation on October 27. 

According to the Al-Jazeera analysis unit, 88 of these military vehicles had ‘disappeared’ between November 1 to 10.

On November 8, Abu Obeida had announced that 136 military vehicles had been destroyed fully or partially. But the spokesman of the Resistance was referring to the entirety of the Gaza Strip, not just the northern parts. 

And since then, dozens more armored vehicles were also destroyed. 

On November 12, Abu Obeida declared that the number of vehicles destroyed fully or partially by the Palestinian Resistance since the beginning of the ground operation amounted to more than 160.

In addition to the 62, declared on November 17, Al-Qassam said that it had destroyed 17 additional military vehicles on Saturday, November 18, alone.

A simple math addition could offer greater clarity: 

 160 + 62 + 17 = 239

383 (original number of military vehicles which entered Gaza according to satellite images)  – 239 = 144 remaining

Genocidal Distraction

Of course, Israel has several supply routes that allow it to evacuate some of its destroyed or damaged vehicles and replace them with functional ones, but there is no question that the rate of destruction of Israel’s military machines is unprecedented in the history of all of the wars against Arab armies. 

On Saturday, Israel carried out major massacres throughout Gaza, killing hundreds of civilians, a large number of them in Al-Fakhoura and Tel Al-Zaatar schools, where hundreds of families have been sheltering since the start of the war. 

Though there is no military logic of how killing refugees sheltered in schools, without food or water, could benefit Israel’s declared objective of ‘destroying Hamas’, there is an explanation that could make sense out of these atrocities: distraction.

Particularly the distraction from Israel’s military failure in the north of Gaza. In other words, by creating new media headlines that focus on new massacres, Israel hopes to avoid the headlines focusing on its ongoing military defeat by the Resistance. 

Lieberman was right when he said that “the war cabinet has lost the north.” He should know, after all, he too failed to subdue Gaza when he was Tel Aviv’s defense minister.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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