Two Israeli armored divisions stand by outside Gaza
Amid continuing massive air strikes and wide speculation about whether or not Israeli ground forces will cross into the Gaza Strip, debkafile‘s military sources report the focus of combat switched Sunday, Dec. 28, Day 2 of the Israeli Gaza operation.
Israeli warplanes, helicopters and drones have been hovering around the clock over the enclave, picking up the slightest move by Hamas operatives and their missile launchers. They are using special measures to detect road traffic and missile crews for surgical strikes, thereby sowing confusion in Hamas ranks and not giving them a chance to regroup and recover from the crushing devastation of their military infrastructure since Saturday.
One key objective now is to soften Hamas resistance and prepare the ground for a large-scale invasion by two armored divisions. Monday, they showed first signs of regaining their missile- launching capability and stepping up the cross-border fire in Israeli locations.
The most important mission carried out by the Israeli Air Force Sunday was the destruction of 40 smuggling tunnels, severing Hamas’ arms, fuel, ammunition and reinforcements lifeline from Iran and Syria via Egyptian Sinai. It raised the question of why this feat was not carried out during the three years since the tunnels began functioning.
Whereas Saturday, Israeli bombers struck with missiles, Sunday, they dropped Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) on the Philadelphi tunnels. This laser-guided, 5,000-pound conventional munition was developed for penetrating hardened Iraqi command centers located deep underground. It carries a 4,400-pound penetrating warhead.