The ongoing war in the Gaza Strip has escalated, marked by significant military actions and strategic maneuvers by both Israeli forces and Palestinian militias.

The Israeli military’s primary objective appears to be the containment and neutralization of Hamas forces within Gaza, particularly in key areas such as the Shujaiya neighborhood and Jabalia city. Recent operations have seen Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant personally observing actions in these areas, underscoring their strategic importance. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have reportedly succeeded in cornering Hamas fighters in these northern strongholds, applying intense pressure to dismantle Hamas’ military infrastructure.

Gaza Map Dec 4,2023
Graphics used courtesy of The Institute for the Study of War.

Meanwhile, Palestinian militias, including Hamas’ al Qassem Brigades, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s al Quds Brigades, and the Palestinian Resistance Committees’ al Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades, have actively engaged Israeli forces. These confrontations have occurred along several fronts, including the al Fallujah Road in Jabalia and the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood. The militias have employed a range of tactics and weaponry, such as rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), including tandem-charged RPGs, small arms, and anti-armor grenades.

Israeli forces have also extended their operations to the mid and southern parts of the Gaza Strip, notably along the Salah al-Din Road, escalating their military presence with ground forces and tank deployments. This expansion of operations indicates a broadening of Israel’s strategic aims across the Gaza Strip, moving beyond localized targets to a more extensive military campaign.

The conflict has had a significant impact on civilian areas, with local journalists and witnesses reporting on the presence of Israeli forces in residential areas like Deir al Balah. The Palestinian militias have responded with mortar attacks and direct engagements, demonstrating the widespread nature of the conflict.

Gaza Ground Ops
Graphics used courtesy of The Institute for the Study of War.

In addition to ground operations, Israeli forces have conducted extensive aerial attacks targeting Hamas infrastructure across Gaza. This includes strikes on tunnels, weapons depots, and anti-tank positions. In response, Hamas and other militias have intensified their use of sophisticated tactics, including explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) and anti-personnel munitions, reflecting a tactical evolution in the conflict.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has been severely impacted, with a near-total internet blackout affecting communication and information flow. This blackout, confirmed by NetBlocks, has disrupted the ability of organizations like the Palestine Red Crescent Society to coordinate relief efforts.

Amidst these developments, Palestinian militias have continued to launch rocket and mortar attacks into Israeli territory, with various groups claiming responsibility for these actions. This continued exchange of hostilities underscores the ongoing and complex nature of the conflict in the Gaza Strip.