Below is a map of Gaza City which is a three by three mile favela (slum) of packed in buildings. There are narrow alleys and irregular makeshift buildings, making any military operation a sheer nightmare. This is a classic urban warfare environment, making “pin point” operations problematic. There are tunnels and bunkers throughout the armed to the teeth Gaza Strip. There are 450,000 people crammed into Gaza City and 1,650,000 in the Gaza Strip. Thousands have already fled Gaza City. An Israeli incursion would no doubt put in play a refugee flow into the Egypt Sinai.
Al Jazeera reports that Israel is giving negotiations for a cease fire until Tuesday. The logical time for an Israeli assault would be about 8:00 PM (Israel time zone; 1:00 PM EST) on Tuesday to take advantage of its night vision edge. Israel would move in during a half moon, but if fighting continues beyond a few nights, Israel will be facing bright three-quarter to full moon conditions that reduces their night fighting advantage.
You can track the Al Qassam Brigades (estimated at 15-20,000) on Tweeter as they typically post notices of a flurry of rocket attacks usually under cover of night. Activity as I write 11:00 PM Israel time Monday is very active.
18:28 Al Qassam Brigades shelling Al Majdal with 2 Grad missiles.
20:35 Al Qassam Brigades shelling Holite with 5 projectiles
21:55 Al Qassam Brigades shelling Beer Sheva with 5 Grad
Most military experts say the Al Qassam units have been well equipped with powerful anti-tank weapons. They have been trained and advised by Iranian and Syrian military advisers. Munitions are stockpiled through Gaza. If they hold, there is an outside chances we could witness last standers fighting. Read this about the Gaza Strip as an armed camp, will blow your mind.
Excerpts: The IDF now considers any offensive foray into Hamas territory to become high intensive combat (HIC) warfighting.
Any military incursion into the Gaza Strip presents an extremely complicated operation.
An upgraded Hamas – under the leadership of military wing commander Ahmed Ja’abri – has succeeded in establishing a 10,000-strong army with a new arsenal of weapons, including hundreds of Qassam rockets, mortars, anti-tank weapons and tons of military grade explosives- all smuggled into the Gaza Strip through a vast tunneling network along the Egyptian border.
Very large quantities of Katyusha rockets and anti-tank missiles are pouring unhindered into the Gaza Strip together with hundreds of RPG-29 rocket-propelled grenades and Grad rockets.
Nor are manpower reserves lacking in Gaza. In theory there are over 300,000 males available within military age groups in the Gaza Strip alone.
The Iranian aid, the porous Egyptian border and the internal ability to build infrastructure unhindered has led Hamas to go within one year “from zero to seven, on a scale of 10,” in the estimation of the Southern Command intelligence officers.