Yesterday, the Israeli Defense Forces publicly stated, “air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip.”
IDF air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 13, 2021
That sounded, quite reasonably, like they were announcing they’d moved into Gaza on the ground. So many reported that, citing the IDF statement. We reported it, noting the IDF statement, and then clarified when they ultimately said they hadn’t yet invaded on the ground.
But there was a bit more to the story and that announcement the IDF made. While they misled the media a bit with that statement, they really had another purpose to it.
Turns out, it was a military trick to make Hamas identify where their tunnels were as Hamas responded to what they thought was an attack coming in on the ground. Which then exposed them to getting hit from the air by IDF.
— Daniel Pipes دانيال بايبس (@DanielPipes) May 14, 2021
This was part of the visual deception that convinced Hamas that they needed to get underground to prep for a ground assault. This was intentionally done at sundown so observers in Gaza would see the dust of armor moving to their assault Start Points.@KFIAM640 https://t.co/j2RYfTrgbG
— Bryan Suits. KFI Los Angeles/Early Seltzer Adopter (@darksecretplace) May 14, 2021
A pretty neat military trick. They then became identifiable for the fighter jets.
The target: The Hamas ‘Metro’ tunnel system in Gaza.
The operation: 160 aircraft, tanks, artillery and infantry units along the border.
We struck 150 targets and damaged many kilometers of the Hamas ‘Metro’ network. pic.twitter.com/otn7JKxB9c
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 14, 2021
According to The Jerusalem Post, once the Hamas fighters emerged from the tunnels, they were exposed to the swarm of Israeli jets. The jets then leveled the tunnels and Hamas’ defensive positions, and whacked their elite anti-tank missile teams and mortar squads meant to take on any incoming Israeli ground forces.
Soldiers and tanks with drones equipped with night vision lay in wait for survivors as they surfaced, hitting them with aerial and ground fire. Snipers and missile units were also waiting for them on the ground as the IDF said it had carried out a ‘complex’ operation to destroy Hamas tunnels underneath Gaza City, which the military refers to as ‘the Metro’.
Meanwhile, Israel didn’t even have to send in any ground forces. Israel said it’s still not clear exactly how many were taken out, but from what it sounds like, it was very successful, with a large number of people getting wiped out when the attacks collapsed the tunnel on their heads, according to Israel National News.
Now, Israel may still send in ground forces ultimately, although they haven’t done it yet. They’ve called up 9,000 reservists and are still massed at the border. But at least now they’ve “softened up” the potential resistance to any ground invasion and will likely be doing a little more of that before they ultimately go in, if they decide to go in.