By Shabbir Rizvi
“We have to admit with pain and with a bowed head — we failed.” These are the words of Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich as he reflected on the continuation of ‘Al-Aqsa Storm’ – the Hamas-led Palestinian resistance operation that has caught the imagination of the world.
Indeed, the Israeli regime has objectively failed in numerous equations these past few days – military, political, and social. Never before has the apartheid regime been dealt such a massive blow to its security, causing a worldwide response that lays bare where governments stand, the shortcomings of world organizations, and the incalculable popularity of the Palestinian cause.
With ‘Al-Aqsa Storm’ (also known as Al-Aqsa Flood) now entering its 12th day, and with seemingly no end in sight, each day has marked a serious blow to the occupying regime’s military apparatus, which was considered in Western military circles as formidable and almost invincible.
But Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions have dealt a bloody nose to the Israeli army that just does not seem to stop bleeding.
Hundreds of Israeli soldiers and officers have been killed in the Palestinian operation. Hundreds more are held as prisoners of war, something that has not been seen in over ten years.
Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers have been destroyed, and entire military outposts have been captured and cleared. All of this is on social media for the whole world to see.
Not equipped to take on resistance
It is clear that Israeli forces were not equipped to handle the resistance onslaught. For decades, the Zionist regime would mostly engage Palestinians directly with overwhelming force; more often than not the Palestinians would be unarmed.
The Israeli conscript army is mostly trained to intimidate, bully, and on “shoot to kill” orders for civilians. Their combat experience isn’t really “combat” experience – it is brutal enforcement of apartheid law.
This became evidently clear within the first few hours of the Al Aqsa Storm. In a now censored and removed interview on an Israeli radio station, a survivor of Hamas’ operation recalled that the Israeli army “eliminated everyone, including the hostages, because there was very, very heavy crossfire.”
Clearly not the markings of a professional army, this is the marking of an army that is only trained to kill everything in its sight, resulting in the deaths of its own.
One could argue that in the fog of initial contact, mistakes can be made. However, the failure of Israeli forces only grows more disastrous. In two separate incidents near the Lebanese border, Israeli forces opened fire on each other, mistaking one another for resistance fighters.
In attempts to contain the resistance, Israeli forces are literally shooting themselves in the foot. Their inability to secure once heavily fortified outposts is a glaring failure and indictment of their training.
Many variables have to be considered within this operation. Hamas had to conduct a herculean effort to break out of the Gaza strip while quickly targeting key Israeli military outposts, disabling their structures and annihilating their soldiers in tense, often close-quarters combat.
These are quick confrontations that deal an unexpected blow, physically and psychologically destroying the enemy.
While resistance soldiers fight off Israeli armed forces that are clearly distraught and taken by surprise, salvo upon salvo of rockets have been targeting surrounding occupied settlements, going as far as northern Tel Aviv.
The barrages have not stopped since the start of the operation, causing panic and disorder within the targeted areas, even pausing flights at Ben Gurion airport – another glaring security failure, particularly of the Iron Dome, which has been failing to stop all of the rockets from the salvos.
Lies, crimes, and disorder
The Israeli War Cabinet has now been formed. However, the forces are still struggling to stop the Hamas fighters, who are now joined by other resistance factions in hitting Israeli command posts and entering and seizing occupied settler towns.
Instead, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to pursue an open policy of genocide for the world to see.
While Palestinian resistance fighters are targeting military outposts with fighters, Israeli policy has been to conduct a genocidal bombing campaign of the Gaza Strip, targeting civilian populations – all while cutting off all humanitarian corridors, shutting off water and destroying power sources.
Video upon video has surfaced throughout the internet, displaying horrific war crimes – entire families martyred, children buried beneath the rubble, bombs being dropped on ambulances and firefighters.
The savagery was again on full display on Tuesday morning as the regime bombed a hospital in the Gaza Strip, killing over 700 people, most of them patients or displaced people who had taken refuge there.
The dastardly attack only shows the frustration of Israeli regime authorities after the Palestinian operation that debunked the myth of the regime’s military superiority and invincibility.
And it came on the eve of US President Joe Biden’s visit to Tel Aviv, where he backed the regime.
While the Israeli regime commits numerous war crimes, it resorts to its true weaponry – its public relations system. Using its powerful lobbying systems, Western regimes, influencers, organizations, and other actors are mobilized to defend Israeli war crimes, despite clear evidence of atrocity upon atrocity.
Israel cannot win using its ground forces against the Palestinian resistance, so it insists on winning the hearts and minds of the public via a war of disinformation – deploying an obfuscation of facts, removal of historical contexts in regards to the Palestinian issue, demonization and dehumanization of Palestinians themselves, and outright lying about Hamas’ actions.
Despite this, even in this theater, Israel seems to be losing – even within the major cities of the west, hundreds of thousands have mobilized to defend Palestine across dozens of rallies.
While the apartheid regime attempts to distort reality to carry out an ethnic cleansing, perhaps another mark of Israel’s security failures looms.
US media and military officials have confirmed that two US carriers are being deployed to the Mediterranean Sea to assist the Zionist military as it prepares for a ground invasion of Gaza.
Not only is the deployment of American air carriers a very visible sign that Israel is failing against the determined fighting of Palestinian resistance, but on top of that 2,000 US troops are also being readied to assist Israeli forces.
A grouping of this size suggests severe logistical shortcomings of the Israeli army. To wrap American involvement together, sources cite Washington as pressuring the Zionist regime to develop an actual strategy around the issue – as it is becoming clear the regime is acting out of retaliatory instinct rather than strategic planning.
Swinging in the dark
For the first time since 2014, a ground invasion of Gaza by Zionist forces seems imminent. A look back at the political objectives of the 2014 ground war, Israel (falsely) claimed victory, saying that it had dealt a serious blow to Hamas. This claim has now been tested, and it does not stand.
Less than 10 years later, Hamas has shaken the occupation to its core, resulting in not only the annihilation of hundreds of Israeli soldiers, but stoppages within the Israeli economy – costing it within conservative estimates hundreds of millions of dollars.
This is without an Israeli soldier even stepping foot in the Gaza Strip, instead just conducting genocidal and cowardly bombing missions.
The Israeli entity is dragging its feet with the imminent (in their own words) invasion. The occupation forces insist their invasion of Gaza was stalled by weather, as the region has seen heavy rains.
However, Israeli forces are more than equipped to handle rainy conditions. They have state-of-the-art equipment from the US that is designed and tested for tumultuous conditions.
Zionist military technology, which was created with hundreds of millions of dollars, is also more than prepared for rainy conditions.
Threatening a ground invasion and then stalling and dancing around the issue is a clear sign that Israeli forces are not strategically ready to carry out such a mission.
Resistance fighters have an immense advantage within Gaza – a location they have been blockaded and locked within for years. Hamas fighters have managed to defeat Israeli forces outside of Gaza. What waits within will show the world that the Israeli army is not capable of what it markets itself as.
Secondly, while the military officials stall and deliberate, Israeli armed forces climb the escalation ladder with Hezbollah by conducting bombings of southern Lebanon. These bombs are met with tit-for-tat responses, with Hezbollah now destroying Israeli Merkava tanks, bombing outposts, and destroying surveillance apparatuses – destroying their own share of Israeli soldiers.
The very opening of a northern front by Israeli armed forces – then stalling a ground invasion of Gaza, with Zionist media citing the threat of Hezbollah if such an invasion occurs – are not the markings of a professional, collected army.
This is the marking of a belligerent enemy swinging into the dark, and missing.
Israeli military command is not acting strategically. Al-Aqsa Storm has dealt not only a serious physical blow to the armed forces but clearly a prominent psychological one as well.
As “the operation continues, we can expect the Israeli regime to continue its horrific war crimes and atrocities to make up for its failing security and “defense” apparatuses.
Despite these horrific acts, reality becomes increasingly clear: every minute the operation lasts is a painstaking blow to the regime army’s reputation.
Shabbir Rizvi is a Chicago-based political analyst with a focus on US internal security and foreign policy.
(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV)