The Russian-made antitank missile Metis-M9 is returning to the battle field – this time to the Gaza Strip
Exclusive to debkafile‘s military and intelligence sources: Early Wednesday morning, Nov. 1, the IDF embarked on a large operation in the Beit Hanun area in northern Gaza to halt the firing of Qassam rockets and eliminate terrorist cells. But the primary purpose is to thwart the new military option Hamas has been using against the IDF – squads that fire antitank missiles, a tactic Hizballah employed during the recent war in Lebanon.
IDF troops exchanged heavy fire with Palestinian gunmen in the northern Gaza Strip. Nine Palestinians were killed and 40 were wounded, the IDF reported.
A few hours after the operation began, IDF brass informed the security cabinet in Jerusalem about the latest developments in Gaza, including information about Hamas’s plans for an impending offensive against Israel, which is being coordinated with the help of military advisers from Iran and Syria, some of whom are already in the Gaza Strip working to carry out the plan.
According to Hamas’s military plan, parts of which debkafile‘s military sources are exclusively reporting, Hamas has come to the conclusion that firing rockets, particularly Qassams, at Israeli towns and villages is no longer effective and should be stopped. Instead of firing rockets, Hamas intends to open a barrage of around-the-clock heavy fire on Israel, using antitank missiles, short-range ground-to-ground missiles and artillery fire – similar to what Hizballah used during the Lebanon war – and mortar fire.
The massive barrage of fire, Hamas believes, will prevent Israel from embarking on any military or civilian activity in a 2-km to 4-km buffer zone from the Gaza security fence. The intention is to transform all IDF bases and outposts, and all settlements in the Negev, into ghost towns, since any movement between them would entail heavy losses.