Why Israel’s Military Advancement toward the Egyptian is Dangerous – EXPLAINER

The fence at the border between Egypt and Gaza. (Photo: Idol, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Editors

Military expert Maj. Gen. Duwairi believes that this operation is a direct outcome of an impending Israeli strategic defeat in its ongoing battles in Gaza.

Maj. Gen. Fayez Duwairi is one of the Arab world’s leading military and strategic experts. In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Duwairi explained on Saturday the possible reasons of why the Israeli military is advancing toward the Philadelphi Route. 

The Philadelphi Route is a narrow strip of land, 14 km (approximately 8.7 miles) in length, situated along the entirety of the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

According to Israeli media, Israeli tanks have begun a ground operation from Kerem Shalom (Karam Abu Salem), in the southern tip of Gaza, to the Philadelphi Route on the Gaza-Egypt border. 

Duwairi believes that this operation is a direct outcome of an impending Israeli strategic defeat in its ongoing battles in Gaza. This has compelled Israel to seek alternative plans, and that is the total control of all crossing points connecting Gaza to the outside world. 

Duwairi describes this alternative Israeli plan as “dangerous”. 

Dangerous and Futile

Palestine Chronicle analysis agrees with Duwairi’s view that it is dangerous but also futile. Why?

Dangerous because the Egyptian army has already mobilized at the Gaza front and throughout the southern and eastern border of Sinai.

Israel has tried to provoke Egypt from the first day of war, repeatedly bombing the Rafah crossing from the Palestinian side and, at times, opening fire at Egyptian positions and claiming that this was done by mistake. 

The anti-Israeli sentiment in Egypt at the moment is arguably unprecedented since the last Israeli-Egyptian/Arab war of 1973. Thus, the Egyptian army is unlikely to accept a long-term scenario in which its borders with Gaza are controlled by a hostile army. 

But also futile, because Gaza has been under an Israeli siege for 17 years prior to the war. In fact, that Israeli siege has been the main driving force that compelled Al-Aqsa Flood operation on October 7. 

If Israel makes the mistake of attempting to maintain a long-term presence through buffer zones, whether in the north, center or south – the Philadelphi Route – they will only invite greater Palestinian resistance, which has proven more effective than ever before. 

Phase Three

Israeli Channel 11 has confirmed that the Israeli military is planning to end the ground operations within weeks and that the new stage is going to involve the creation of buffer zones. 

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz says this ‘third phase’ has, in fact, already begun. 

The question is, is it sustainable?

Gen. Duwairi does not think so, nor do many other military experts.

In fact, they are correct, because the Israeli army has proven to be much weaker than ever expected. This weak army could not even protect Israel’s own southern borders, the so-called Gaza envelope. 

That in mind, would it be able to protect itself against a powerful and empowered Palestinian Resistance inside Gaza?

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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