The former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, told the Financial Times, that what awaits the Israeli soldiers is everything you can imagine, and even worse, adding that the matter won’t be simple, and it won’t be a picnic and fun.
Olmert’s spoke based on his experience when he was Prime Minister in 2008 when the Israeli army launched an operation against Gaza, which lasted 3 weeks.
Olmert added, “Given the clear intelligence failures that preceded last Saturday’s attack, it’s possible that Israeli forces will face new launchers or new types of more lethal and larger missiles, or new types of anti-tank missiles, which we aren’t aware of”.
“It’s a mission so complex and challenging that it isn’t clear how long it will take, or how many lives it will cost,” he continued.
He pointed out that Hamas has accumulated a massive missile arsenal since 2014, and has built hundreds of kilometers of tunnels, which it called the “Gaza Metro,” to transport fighters and weapons without being detected, and to train them to fight in urban areas.
He stressed that the Israeli army will fight an enemy that is looking to exploit all the advantages of urban defense, from improvised explosive devices and sniper positions to reinforced strongholds, as well as an array of low-tech tactics, to cripple Israel’s technological capabilities.
In this context, retired colonel in the Israeli army, Shimon Arad, pointed out that the tunnel network prevented Israel from carrying out large-scale ground operations inside Gaza.
Stressing that, Israeli forces must penetrate a series of defensive lines, which will include mines, ambush sites, heavy mortar shells, machine guns, anti-tank weapons, and snipers.
On the other hand, a former Israeli general who was responsible for the Shin Bet security service confirmed, Thursday, that his country doesn’t have sufficient information about the prisoners and missing persons held by the Hamas movement.
On Thursday evening, Israeli Radio quoted General Yaakov Perry, the former head of the Israeli internal intelligence service (Shin Bet), regarding possible negotiations with Hamas to return the movement’s Israeli prisoners and kidnapped persons, saying that his country needs to reassure and calm Hamas that the return of the kidnapped persons is an important matter for Israel.
General Yaakov Perry confirmed that the Hamas movement is detaining missing persons and Israeli prisoners in exchange for the release of their former prisoners held by Israel, adding that there is complete information about the number and fate of his country’s prisoners held by the Hamas movement, because there is a clear lack of knowledge, as a result of the great state of confusion that the Israeli authorities are suffering from.
General Yaakov Perry, the former head of the Israeli Shin Bet, appealed to his country’s government to act wisely and rationally regarding this file, so that Israel can recover those missing and prisoners held by Hamas.
The Israeli military official referred for the first time to the issue of intelligence warnings that preceded operation al Aqsa Flood announced by Hamas, at dawn last Saturday.
Daniel Hagari said, “In the hours before the attack, we had no information about the force of the attack, and we will conduct an independent investigation… We’ll provide answers to the public after we finish the war”.
The Israeli military spokesman stressed that his country will retaliate against all those involved in the attack on his country, adding that the Israeli army focused on targets belonging to the elite force of the military wing, and that Israel is collecting video clips from the Internet, to identify Palestinian militants and reach them.