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Israel displaying ‘classic playbook’ of invasion tactics after communications in Gaza are cut off and massive aerial bombardment pummels Hamas, warns ex-British military intelligence officer


Israel is displaying the ‘classic playbook’ of invasion tactics as it cuts off Gaza’s communications and launches aerial attacks on military targets, a top former British intelligence officer has warned.

Colonel Phillip Ingram claims that if the Jewish nation commits itself tonight it could be the start of a long and brutal battle – with casualties rocketing among Israeli military and civilians as Hamas use innocents as ‘human shields’.

Israeli warplanes tonight unleashed airstrikes of ‘unprecedented’ intensity across all parts of the Gaza strip, according to observers.

The aerial onslaught, which observers described as much more ferocious and louder than previous days, coincided with electricity and communications blackouts in much of the besieged enclave, according to Hamas, sparking fears that a full-scale Israeli ground invasion could be imminent.

Col Ingram said: ‘I fully expected them to cut off communications, including the internet, whenever they start their ground invasion. 

Israeli warplanes tonight unleashed airstrikes of 'unprecedented' intensity across all parts of the Gaza strip, according to observers

Israeli warplanes tonight unleashed airstrikes of ‘unprecedented’ intensity across all parts of the Gaza strip, according to observers

The Hamas government said Israel 'cut communications and most of the internet' across the Gaza Strip. Pictured: An Israeli Merkava tank in action during maneuvers

The Hamas government said Israel ‘cut communications and most of the internet’ across the Gaza Strip. Pictured: An Israeli Merkava tank in action during maneuvers

Colonel Phillip Ingram (pictured) claims that if the Jewish nation commits itself tonight it could be the start of a long and brutal battle

Colonel Phillip Ingram (pictured) claims that if the Jewish nation commits itself tonight it could be the start of a long and brutal battle

‘The last couple of nights there have been small incursions, where the Israelis have been probing the Hamas defenses. 

‘They’ve been trying to destroy positions were Hamas could fire anti-tank weapons at them or snipe at them, build up intelligence as to where the Hamas positions are and how Hamas reacts to the Israeli incursions, and therefore refine their tactics. At the same time, they’ll be trying to identify where the hostages could be.

‘I would have expected not long after that – and tonight is not long after that – they would potentially start a more detailed ground incursion, and the precursor for that would be cutting off communications.

‘They’ll start to ramp up their action from the air their artillery, and we’ll want to blind Hamas from anything that Israel is going to do. 

‘It could be a big bluff this evening, it could be another precursor operation.

‘It could be the start of the much larger Israeli ground offensive operation.’

The Hamas government said Israel ‘cut communications and most of the internet’ across the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas government’s media office accused Israel of taking the measure ‘to perpetrate massacres with bloody retaliatory strikes from the air, land and sea,’ as heavy strikes hit northern Gaza.

The aerial onslaught, which observers described as much more ferocious and louder than previous days, coincided with electricity and communications blackouts in much of the besieged enclave

The aerial onslaught, which observers described as much more ferocious and louder than previous days, coincided with electricity and communications blackouts in much of the besieged enclave

The Hamas government's media office accused Israel of taking the measure 'to perpetrate massacres with bloody retaliatory strikes from the air, land and sea,' as heavy strikes hit northern Gaza

The Hamas government’s media office accused Israel of taking the measure ‘to perpetrate massacres with bloody retaliatory strikes from the air, land and sea,’ as heavy strikes hit northern Gaza

According to one report the Israelis have even unleashed 'bunker buster' concussion missiles to try and destroy the extensive Hamas tunnel network under Gaza

According to one report the Israelis have even unleashed ‘bunker buster’ concussion missiles to try and destroy the extensive Hamas tunnel network under Gaza

The Palestinian Red Crescent, the main emergency service in Gaza, said it was cut off from its operations room in the strip because of the internet blackout.

Col Ingram – who served in the British Army for over 26 years – continued: ‘Once Israel commits itself properly on the ground, they are in until they reach their objectives – that could take months.

‘If this is their main effort operation like they could be stuck in Gaza for months and casualties, particularly amongst the Israeli military could be very high indeed because Hamas have been preparing for this for at least 12 months. 

‘We’ll hear more stories of bigger horrors because that’s the way they operate.

‘Hamas is putting military facilities inside civilian buildings. Hamas want civilians to die. 

‘They want the world to see pictures of women and children being carried out of rubble after an attack.’

According to one report the Israelis have even unleashed ‘bunker buster’ concussion missiles to try and destroy the extensive Hamas tunnel network under Gaza.

The two-stage munitions shake the ground and the first part of the warhead penetrates the ground, allowing the second to reach deep beneath the surface.

Former General Wesley Clark, former NATO Allied Commander told CNN he believed the operation was a preparatory ‘softening up’ operation, rather than the full-scale invasion

Former General Wesley Clark, former NATO Allied Commander told CNN he believed the operation was a preparatory ‘softening up’ operation, rather than the full-scale invasion

Witnesses said the Israeli forces unleashed artillery and tank fire on Gaza as well as the ‘unprecedented’ airstrikes

Witnesses said the Israeli forces unleashed artillery and tank fire on Gaza as well as the ‘unprecedented’ airstrikes

The report in the Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper, could not be verified.

But the former military intelligence officer said that Israel’s ramped up actions could be a precursor of further operations.

He added: ‘This could be a major Israeli hostage rescue operation. 

‘It’ll be special forces led. Cutting off communications, cutting off internet, cutting off the ability for them to communicate is classic playbook for that.’ 

Former General Wesley Clark, former NATO Allied Commander told CNN he believed the operation was a preparatory ‘softening up’ operation, rather than the full-scale invasion, adding that each probe yielded vital intelligence about how the Hamas defenders reacted. 

And the former head of the British Army General Lord Richard Dannatt said that it appears that Israel are going to ‘deliver on their word’ and try and ‘destroy Hamas’.

‘It would seem that they’re going to deliver on their word that making some further ground incursion,’ he told Sky News.

‘Whether this is the major ground intervention or whether it will be a more limited incursion I think only time will tell. 

The former head of the British Army General Lord Richard Dannatt (pictured) said that it appears that Israel are going to 'deliver on their word' and try and 'destroy Hamas'

The former head of the British Army General Lord Richard Dannatt (pictured) said that it appears that Israel are going to ‘deliver on their word’ and try and ‘destroy Hamas’

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly civilians slain during the initial Hamas attack. Pictured: Israeli army positions close to the Gaza border

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly civilians slain during the initial Hamas attack. Pictured: Israeli army positions close to the Gaza border

The Palestinian death toll passed 7,300 as Israel launched waves of airstrikes in response to the bloody Hamas rampage in southern Israel on October 7

The Palestinian death toll passed 7,300 as Israel launched waves of airstrikes in response to the bloody Hamas rampage in southern Israel on October 7

‘But I think we should be in no doubt at all, that the potential for escalation, the potential for this whole situation in the Middle East to get out of hand, is increasingly worrying.

‘I think it’s been pretty obvious for the last three weeks that at some point, the Israelis would go into Gaza. 

‘They’ve said that their stated mission is to destroy Hamas and you can only do that if you go and close with them and carry through the threat of the actuality of a ground incursion.’  

But he warned that an oncoming battle could bring ‘disaster’ upon Israelis – as they must be fought within the complex of tunnels underlying Gaza.

The ex-military chief added: ‘The complication is that this war is not going to be thought of in the streets of Gaza, it’s going to be fought largely in the tunnels under Gaza. 

‘And of course, that is where the 200-plus Israeli hostages are being held. This is a major headache for the Israelis and frankly, I’m not quite sure I can work out how they can possibly do this without bringing a disaster upon themselves, for hostages, their families.

‘It’s a very, very complex situation, which I think the IDF are scratching their heads hugely over how to take it forward.’

Witnesses said the Israeli forces unleashed artillery and tank fire on Gaza as well as the ‘unprecedented’ airstrikes.

Significantly, IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari highlighted the Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City earlier today, claiming that it was being used as a Hamas command and control facility and added: ‘we continue with our efforts to identify and intercept terrorist cells all the time.’

Hamas denied they were using the hospital.

The Palestinian death toll passed 7,300 as Israel launched waves of airstrikes in response to the bloody Hamas rampage in southern Israel on October 7.

The Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, which tracks the toll, released a detailed list, including names and ID numbers on Thursday.

In the occupied West Bank, more than 110 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids since the war’s start three weeks ago.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly civilians slain during the initial Hamas attack.

In addition, 229 people, including foreigners, children and older adults, were taken by Hamas during the incursion and remain in captivity in Gaza.So far, four hostages were released earlier.



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