The sound of gunfire in Gaza City: a Palestinian graphic designer searching for food in the army’s era of Israeli occupation and Israeli invasion of Gaza
“We don’t have internet to listen to the news and know what is happening — but we can hear it,” said Majdi Ahmed, 32, a taxi driver taking shelter in a hospital in the city.
The sound of gunfire could be heard in Gaza City as people tried to assess the Israeli advance.
Saher Abu Adgham, 37, a Palestinian graphic designer, had been searching the streets of Gaza City for firewood to boil some rice. He stayed at his house as night fell in case the army advanced.
Many buildings were wrecked, their walls sprayed with bullet holes. Some were most likely hit from the air during an Israeli bombing campaign that has killed more than 9,000 Gazans, according to Gaza’s health authority, which is controlled by Hamas.
The wall of a school had shattered into rubble. The minaret of a mosque was tilting to one side. The roof of a beachfront villa had vanished, leaving a maroon sofa exposed to the elements.
Ben-Anat: Finding a Mouse in the Gaza Strip with a Glimpse Inside Israels Invasion of Gaza
After eight days, the army of Israel conquered the outskirts of Gaza City and established control over the northern part of the coastal road.
A small group of foreign journalists were brought into northern Gaza by Israeli military leaders for four hours to see the advance on Saturday. A reporter for The New York Times was among them.
Thousands of troops began their incursion down the coastline on Oct. 27, one part of a three-pronged invasive force that aims to vanquish Hamas, which led a brazen raid on Israel last month that killed roughly 1,400 people.
Long lines of infantry marched south along the road, blowing plumes of dust into the air. In the sand dunes east of the road, long rows of tanks and armored vehicles dominated the landscape, stretching toward the horizon.
Colonel Ben-Anat said it was like catching a mouse. You have to find him. You know he’s there. You don’t know what he is doing, but once you catch him, he’s done.
The Knesset of the Israel Defense Forces: Political Debates on the Problem of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli War on Solidarity
There were groups of soldiers gathered around portable camping stoves boiling sweet corn and carrots. Men grow mustaches in November for a global fund-raising campaign called Movember.
A major change came after the Lebanon war: Dozens of reservists were killed after they were thrust into combat in the last days of the invasion. The Israeli military overhauled the system after an outcry. The military reduced the size of its reserves because they were not well-trained. Today, less than 5 percent of Israel’s population serves in a reserve unit.
Even as some soldiers cooked and rested, others had their guns drawn, scanning the horizon for assailants. At any moment, the colonel said, Hamas fighters might emerge from hidden shafts that lead to a vast underground tunnel network, hundreds of miles along, and ambush the Israeli troops.
The journalists traveled in a convoy of tanks and armored vehicles. A reporter for The Times traveled in an armored vehicle known as an Eitan. It did not have a window and the driver looked at a screen that showed a live video of the road ahead.
Many Palestinian journalists have been killed in airstrikes since the start of the war, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Highly trained troops who serve in elite units or pilots who fly fighter planes are among the tier of reservists created by the military. There are units that include professional soldiers that deploy in Gaza.
The diverse economic and social backgrounds of reservists means that some are openly critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, even as they fervently believe in the military’s mission. Some people wearing army fatigues and T-shirts with the symbols of mass rallies last summer are against Mr. Netanyahu.
With time on their hands, political debates are common. “You’ll have guys poking fun at each other, saying, ‘I hope you don’t go back to the demonstrations when you go home,’” Dr. Erez said. “It’s not very contentious. People agree that something bigger is happening and that this is important.
There are consequences for being too outspoken. On Monday, Israeli news media reported that an air force reservist was fired for criticizing Mr. Netanyahu in a private WhatsApp group. “Political comments while serving in uniform is against the rules,” an Israeli military spokesman said.
“The risk is that the issue of the hostages is not settled soon, and we see a danger to the hostages in the ground operation,” said Yagil Levy, a professor and expert on the military at the Open University of Israel. You may see a kind of protest in some military units.
In the idle hours, rumors and dark theories can take root. “They tell me that they take a kid who is 8 or 9 years old, pack him with an explosive vest and send him,” Sergeant Schnider said of the militants in Gaza. “What are you supposed to do? I don’t want to get into that situation.
On the role of leadership in the army and the absence of civilians in the post-Military War. An analysis by Ari Singer and Manuel Trajtenberg
The soldiers may run slower, but they are level- minded. Ari Singer was a chief reserves officer of the Israeli military. The leadership in the reserves is more authentic and not related to your rank.
Manuel Trajtenberg, the director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, estimated that about 500,000 workers were off the clock because of the mobilization and the ripple effects on spouses forced to interrupt jobs to take on domestic duties.