IDF's objective in Gaza: Clearing 70% of enemy territory

IDF explores new alternatives for the continuation of the ground offensive in Gaza in the coming months and estimates that the incursion will not end in January, but will rather move to targeted raids
IDF forces operated in recent days in the olive groves in the eastern part of the Gaza City neighborhoods of Daraj and Tuffah, the last Hamas stronghold remaining in the northern Gaza Strip. They carefully scanned the ground, and beneath almost every tree they found an entrance to a Hamas tunnel or a rocket launch pit.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok >>
Read more:
The operation in those neighborhoods is expected to take a few more days, perhaps weeks, until achieving operational control and dealing a significant blow to the local Hamas battalion. The terrorists are not in a hurry to escape, as they have almost nowhere to go, given that the IDF is spread out in Jabaliya and nearby Shijaiyah.
2 View gallery
IDF forces operate in the Gaza Strip
For a significant portion of the forces, it appears that the required objective is to capture 70% of enemy territories such as neighborhoods or towns. This is a goal challenging to measure in numbers because soldiers discover most of the tunnels and massive ammunition caches while in motion. The 30% that will be relinquished by the enemy's territory will, in the best case, leave room for follow-up raids to strengthen operational achievements throughout 2024.
Typically, the IDF embarks on campaigns based on operational plans preserved in the drawer and adapted or rehearsed periodically in response to intelligence changes.
For this incursion, and especially its depth, there was no plan at all – it was built from scratch in the three weeks following the October 7 terror attack, against the backdrop of numerous uncertainties heard from every possible direction - from the prime minister in the Cabinet to seasoned officers who doubted that ground forces would reach the depths of Hamas' stronghold. Now, IDF soldiers are treading on Gazan soil in places where the military had not operated even before the disengagement from Gaza in 2005.

2 View gallery
תיעוד: מחבל יורה לעבר לוחמי צה"ל מתוך בית ספר בצפון רצועת עזה
תיעוד: מחבל יורה לעבר לוחמי צה"ל מתוך בית ספר בצפון רצועת עזה
IDF forces
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
At the current moment, the extent of the territory where IDF divisions are deployed in Gaza is at its peak: from Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia in the north, to the suburbs between Khan Younis and Rafah. Still, there are many places the operation has not reached, such as Deir al-Balah and the Philadelphia Corridor in Wadi el-Hesi, the besieged city of Rafah. The incursion will not halt at the end of January, according to the estimates of military sources; it will only change form. A decision on the continuation of the operation will be made in a few weeks.
Meanwhile, there is more friction and encounters each day, so the IDF attack is unified, from multiple directions and with several brigades. Soldiers from the Golani Brigade, Givati Brigade, and the Engineering Corps, who initially captured the coastal axis, stormed the streets of Shijaiyah, operated together in Jabaliya, and gained deep familiarity.
"This organizational structure and the experience accumulated in weeks of intense fighting are working to our advantage," said one of the officers in the 460th Brigade.
Meanwhile, in the field, Hamas spares no means to entrap the soldiers. The troops in the field identify Hamas terrorists almost every day inside a UNRWA shelter, with their weapons, near children. To deal with this, IDF snipers are deployed in the area to precisely kill those terrorists. At the same time, the forces work with great effort to evacuate these shelters, but sometimes the terrorists shoot civilians who try to escape. Almost every school and even diplomatic embassies in the Gaza Strip have become a terrorist base, similar to the hospitals where weapons are found in abundance and firing positions.
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.