After launching its largest military mobilization in history, the Israeli Defense Forces have entered the "second phase," of their war against Hamas. Airstrikes were launched in response to an Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel by Hamas, a militant Palestinian organization designated as a terrorist group both by the U.S. & EU. The attack killed over 1,300 people, and more than 240 hostages were taken. Israel has claimed that in the first six hours of the conflict, it dropped more than 6,000 bombs over Gaza. Gaza is a small enclave, roughly the same size as Philadelphia. On November 2, 2023, civilians try to reach survivors and dead bodies amidst the destruction caused by Israeli attacks on Bureij Refugee Camp located in central Gaza Strip.
Herzi Halevi, the IDF Chief of Staff, said that "our soldiers have been operating on Gaza City over the last few days. They surround it from multiple directions, intensifying the operation." The IDF has stated that a ground offensive is needed to achieve Israel's goals of eliminating Hamas which controls Gaza Strip. Iraq showed how much an advantage an asymmetrical defender has in urban warfare. "Cities naturally channelize the attacker in predictable ways of approaching." He added, "Gaza has a lot of civilians and Hamas can blend in." On Jan. 31, 2016, Palestinian al-Qassam Brigades members, the armed arm of Hamas, attend a Gaza City gathering to pay tribute their other militants killed in the Gaza Strip after a tunnel collapsed.
The IDF has referred to Hamas tunnels as the "Gaza Metro" in a euphemistic way. Israeli soldiers must navigate unfamiliar streets, alleyways and mountains of destroyed buildings. Hussein Ibish is a resident scholar and senior resident at the Arab Gulf States Institute, Washington. He says that no one knows for sure how long militants will survive. He said that the insurgency is likely to start slowly, because of how decimated the organization has become. However, there's a risk it could grow over time. "We're ready to cause serious damage, despite possible military casualties. "Absolutely," he replied. Conflict analysts warn that destroying Hamas' military might not be the end of Israel’s problems. Des Roches stated that "once you have destroyed Gaza and Hamas, you will have more than 2 million people who are in need." "If you don't provide them with a better life, this will be a problem in five to ten years."