Israeli reports that the deputy commander of Al-Qassam was targeted by an air strike

If we consider that “Bedouinism is a barbaric stage in the pre-civilizational stage,” as Ibn Khaldun said, then it is inevitably a stage of movement and maneuvering in the Bedouin’s movement in search of his strength and security.

If we consider, as Ibn Khaldun also said, that civilization is formed in the city, is the formation of civilization directly related to the factor of stability in the place? Does this intersect with what the German geographer Friedrich Ratzel, who is considered the father of modern political geography along with Ibn Khaldun, said when he said that “thought, creativity, and development come only from the city, because it is the melting pot of contradictory ideas”?

Elsewhere, the French thinker Jacques Attali says that man is by nature a “nomadic” being, moving from one place to another. He had published a book on this subject (L’Homme Nomade), which means that man was nothing but an urban temporary person. However, due to the technological revolution and globalization, man is returning to his nomadic nature. Does human nature always change between stability and movement?… Are stability and movement the result of man’s pursuit of resources that ensure his continuity? Or is it the constant pursuit of control and building glory?

Stability and movement

Stability and movement are, in short, the theory of maneuver versus the theory of defense and attrition. They are the tank that maneuvers and relies on firepower to penetrate the enemy’s defenses, as opposed to the anti-armor weapon, which represents stability and defense.

In this equation, the concept of the “weapon star” appears, whether in attack or even defense, and history is full of many examples, including:

• In the invasion of France in 1940, Germany relied on the doctrine of blitzkrieg. The triangle of weapons, consisting of a tank, an aircraft, and a radio, was the star weapon at that time. France fell in less than 6 weeks.

• In the October War of 1973, Egypt drew up a “hedgehog” strategy to cross the Suez Canal. This strategy was based on the advance of infantry and armor deep into Sinai, but under the protection of SAM (Strela) anti-aircraft missiles, as well as the protection of Sagger anti-tank missiles. In this war, SAM and SAG were the two stars of the war.

• In Israel’s war on Gaza, thousands of Israeli vehicles and armor were destroyed, and this is acknowledged by the Israeli army. The Al-Yassin 105 anti-armor shell was the star of this war. The tunnel dimension may also be added.

A star weapon cannot stand out on its own. It must be placed within a combat system that is appropriate to the battlefield and its natural characteristics or those modified through human intervention, such as changing the geographical and topographical geometry.

Gaza “tactics”.

In asymmetric wars, the weakest adopts the following equation: He prepares the battlefield, in a way that allows him to use everything he has. This is in exchange for preventing the enemy from using everything he possesses. Force and its use are relative.

Can Israel use all of its arsenal, including its nuclear arsenal, in the Gaza Strip? Of course not, especially since war imposes the principle of balancing objectives with the value of objectives.

Hamas tried to fight in the first stage through a flexible defense tactic in empty spaces. The goal was to delay the enemy, and exhaust him as much as possible with numbers and equipment. At this stage, the war was kinetic between the two. Flexible defense turned to urban combat in populated areas.

Movement was slow when the Israeli army advanced, while Hamas fighters remained as steadfast as possible. Hamas’s major movement was represented by the extensive use of tunnels, which ensured the smooth flow of what was underground (fighters, leaders, and implicitly the transfer of hostages from one place to another).

In this context, American expert on tunnel wars, John Spencer, says that Hamas is using tunnels for a dual purpose. The first is purely military, while the second is the political dimension. In other words, the tunnels prolong the duration of the war and accumulate losses for the Israeli army, which prompts the political leadership in Israel to modify the goals of the war as a whole.

Israeli soldiers inside a tunnel in the Gaza Strip, December 17 (AFP)

Field reality

The Israeli army is trying to move the entire Gaza Strip to the third stage, which depends on military withdrawal from the cities to their surroundings, and then returning to any area to which Hamas returns, after collecting and analyzing tactical information about it. The goal is always to strike Hamas forces and prevent them from reorganizing.

However, two important matters remain before the Israeli army: completing Khan Yunis, and planning for the Rafah phase, in addition to reaching the leaders of Hamas to eliminate them, and liberating the hostages and prisoners. The Israeli army is currently seeking to routinize war (i.e. make it routine).

That is, moving from high-intensity fighting to low-intensity fighting, with the aim of reducing pressure on the Israeli government, especially from the international community, and to do so, the following tactical approach is adopted:

• Dividing the Strip into several sections, and from here it was divided by an east-west road in the center of the Strip, passing through the southern border of Gaza City. On this road, the Israeli army will establish several military points, one of the many goals of which is to prevent Gazans from returning to the northern Gaza Strip.

• The Israeli army will withdraw many of its forces to the buffer zone on the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, one kilometer deep, with the aim of reducing its presence in areas hostile to it. Which reduces the target bank of Hamas fighters. But when needed, it returns quickly, relying on movement and maneuvering to strike new targets.

• Increase the use of aerial bombardment to compensate for the military presence, and when necessary, form a force of multiple weapons to carry out a special operation, as happened recently in Hamad Town, north of Khan Yunis. In this operation, the Israeli army used two brigades to surround Hamad Town, and it also used its best special units to enter the city to attack and capture Hamas fighters, as they were a treasure trove of tactical information, especially about the tunnels whose mystery it was trying to solve.

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