On October 7, when the militant group Hamas launched a large-scale set of coordinated attacks against Israel, the tragic result was the deadliest day for the country since its founding. It triggered an extraordinary response by Israel. What that response will ultimately entail is yet to be seen. But it appears increasingly likely that it will include a ground campaign in Gaza for the first time in nearly a decade.
Such a campaign will present a range of serious challenges to the Israel Defense Forces. John Spencer, MWI’s chair of urban warfare studies, described some of those challenges earlier this week. In this episode of the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, he is joined by Dr. Jacob Stoil to explore these challenges in greater depth. Dr. Stoil is the chair of applied history at MWI, an associate professor of military history at the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies, and a senior fellow at the 40th Infantry Division Urban Warfare Center.
During their discussion, they first lay a foundation by explaining the Israel Defense Forces’ structure and organization, adding important context to the mobilization of three hundred thousand reservists—four times as many as were mobilized in 2014 during Operation Protective Edge, the last time Israeli ground forces entered Gaza. They then trace Israel’s initial military response, before moving on to discuss the specific challenges—from drones and tunnels to human shields, snipers, and more—that ground combat in Gaza will involve.
You can listen to the discussion below or find the episode on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, or your favorite podcast app. Be sure to subscribe, and if you’re enjoying the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, please take a minute and leave the podcast a review or give it a rating!
Image credit: Israel Defense Forces