IDF Commanders: Time for decisive war move after IDF victories in Shejaiya, E. Rafah and Khan Younes

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
By Paul Martin

DEBKA.com
July 23, 2014

Senior IDF commanders said Wednesday July 23 that the time had come for a decisive war move. Breaking up the Hamas’ subterranean tunnels would take weeks, they said, but the critical encounter for completing their military mission and bringing the war to a close was still to be fought after three key IDF victories: The battle for Shejaiya grabbed the headlines, but the confrontations in eastern Rafah and eastern Khan Younes in the south were just as important.

The commanders are now urging a large-scale assault on the bunker complex housing Hamas’ top military command and infrastructure. They say it is up to national leaders, i.e., the security cabinet, to determine the military’s next move and the disposition of the forces present on the battlefields of the Gaza Strip.
The tank units could undertake the opening moves for the next, critical stage of the Israeli operation at no more than hours’ notice.

Political circles in Israel agree that after Hamas rejected all the ceasefire proposals floated, the next stage is the war’s expansion for its closing shots. There is no word yet on how they are to be conducted.
The Western diplomats and Palestinian Authority officials who met Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal in Qatar Sunday were amazed to hear him assert that Hamas was winning the war against the IDF and confident of being able to keep going for a long time, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report.

On Monday, July 21, Meshaal told one Western official: “In Gaza we see that the IDF is slow and clumsy. Our forces are mobile and flexible, including our rockets which we can move quickly from one place to another.”

Asked about Hamas’ defeat in Shajaiya, where a Gaza City suburb, home to 100,000 Palestinians, was razed to the ground, he declined to comment.

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