As the world awaits what is expected to be an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip in the coming days, attention has turned to what sorts of combat conditions soldiers can expect, and as Fox News' Jesse Watters outlined for viewers last week, the situation will not be pretty.
During a recent installment of his primetime program, Watters took a closer look at the expansive tunnel system Hamas has constructed underground in Gaza and assessed the potential impact it will have on Israeli efforts to eliminate the terrorist threat it contains.
Watters introduced the segment by explaining the current state of conflict in the region and declaring that in the immediate future, “Israel will begin to exact revenge.”
“Well-trained Israeli combat specialists are conducting their first operational raids, searching for hostages, gathering intelligence, and neutralizing terrorists,” he continued.
The host pointed out the contradictory positions of the combatants, noting, “Israel has ordered a full evacuation of northern Gaza, telling a million Palestinian civilians [to] leave immediately or become collateral damage,” while “Hamas is ordering all Palestinians to stay put, making their own people into human shields.”
“The terrorists,” Watters opined, “will not be subdued easily.”
Pointing to the strengths of Israel's campaign thus far, Watters noted that the “IDF has showered Gaza with precision missile strikes, knocking out Hamas strongholds, hideouts and leadership.”
However, Watters cautioned, “the Hamas labyrinth of tunnels are impenetrable to Israeli air assaults. Hamas has built over 300 miles of tunnels underneath their densely populated cities.”
What's worse, he added, “They're packed with heavily armed radicals ready to wage jihad.”
Though Israel's “long-term strategy is to permanently eliminate the tunnel system,” Watters asserted, the difficult first step will be to enter Gaza “where they face mounds of jagged rubble infested with Hamas snipers and laced with IEDs.”
As CNBC notes, the scenarios that will be facing Israeli soldiers are every bit as treacherous as Watters describes, given its dense population and network of underground assets unreachable by drones or satellite detection.
The tunnels beneath Gaza are expected, according to the outlet, to be “booby-trapped with explosives.”
One Israeli solider with prior combat experience inside Gaza told CNBC, “We know they're waiting for us. And as bad as Gaza is above ground, underground is much worse.”
As of Sunday, Israel's ground invasion of Gaza appeared to have been postponed, with some sources blaming poor weather and others citing new intelligence on the location of hostages, but it seems all but certain that when the operation does finally commence, it will be marked by an unthinkable level of bloodshed and death.
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