Libmonster ID: U.S.-1345
Author(s) of the publication: A. A. ERMAKOV


Graduate student

Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod

Keywords: Hamas, Hezbollah, Israel Defense Forces, fighting, Gaza Strip

Modern international relations are characterized by an increasing role and influence of non-state actors.1 In this regard, it should be noted that the beginning of the XXI century was marked by the multiplication of conflicts in the international arena, during which States are confronted by non-State actors in military-political relations. One of the most striking examples of such conflicts is the confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian movement Hamas.

Ensuring the security of Jewish settlements located in the Palestinian enclave for years has cost the State of Israel not only large financial costs, but also many lives of military personnel. 2 Under the circumstances, Tel Aviv has decided to implement a program of unilateral separation from the Palestinians. The 38-year-old Israeli presence in the Gaza Strip ended in 2005.3

By this point, the balance of power in the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation was completely in favor of Israel.4 The Hamas movement took advantage of the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip by launching military construction on its territory, which used the experience of Hezbollah (the Party of Allah), a Lebanese organization with well-trained military formations on a national scale. 5

During the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, the "Party of Allah" was able to successfully resist Israel, although its defeat seemed inevitable in Tel Aviv. 6 Hezbollah not only resorted to the use of rockets to attack Israel, but also significantly improved the classical methods of guerrilla warfare, 7 creating a system of powerful underground mines in Southern Lebanon. Figure 8. The Lebanese militant organization also has a diverse arsenal of anti-tank weapons to combat armored vehicles. Hezbollah's strategic line is aimed at" absorbing " an Israeli strike by dispersing forces in different areas of Lebanon.


Like the Hezbollah militants, the Gaza radicals responded to the military power of Tel Aviv by using rockets to attack Israeli territory. The arsenal of Hamas militants operating in the Palestinian enclave for quite a long time consisted mainly of unsafe homemade Qassam rockets9. Throughout the armed confrontation with Israel, Hamas is improving the design of its homemade rockets, since it has a sufficiently qualified personnel for this purpose.10

Even now, Hamas continues to make efforts to expand the production of rocket weapons in the West Bank.11 It can be said that the development of the offensive potential is achieved by Hamas militants, first of all, due to the constant improvement of the missile arsenal. If in 2006 the main target of the Palestinian rocket launchers was the city of Sderot located near the Gaza Strip, 12 now they are able to fire even the northern part of Israel. At the same time, to minimize their own losses, Hamas militants, following the example of Hezbollah, began to actively use underground rocket launchers.13 In addition to rockets fired by Palestinian militants, mortars are used to target Israeli territory.14

The success of Hezbollah in organizing ground and underground defence15 did not go unnoticed by the radicals of Gaza, as stated by the head of the General Security Service of Israel (Shin Bet or Shin Bet) Yuval Diskin: "Palestinian terrorists consider Nasrallah* a national hero, they learn from his experience. They realized the effectiveness of anti-tank missiles, guerrilla warfare, and underground bunkers. " 16

Like the militants of the" Party of Allah", Hamas has become the basis of-

* Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah , Secretary General of the radical Lebanese organization Hezbollah. author's note).

page 9

base your tactics on the use of underground infrastructure. Throughout the armed confrontation with Tel Aviv, the militants continue to improve it, as Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said: "We resist not with dreams or hopes, but with painstaking work, everyday deeds and efforts ... The lion's share of our efforts went to creating the infrastructure of Resistance, training fighters, equipping them with weapons. " 17

The Hamas movement has extensive experience in using tunnels for operational purposes 18. In this regard, it should be noted that the Palestinians paid special attention to the creation of tunnels leading from the Gaza Strip to Egypt and Israel. The former were necessary for smuggling weapons, ammunition and components for their manufacture into Gaza, while the latter were necessary for carrying out sabotage operations on the territory of Israel.

Guided by the experience of Hezbollah, the Gaza radicals have focused considerable efforts to build up their arsenal of anti - tank weapons-improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank missile systems. At the same time, the Palestinian groups have not yet created an effective air defense system that can prevent the Israeli air force from successfully solving its combat tasks. This, however, is partially compensated by the creation of a powerful underground infrastructure.

Syria, as well as Iran, played a key role in building up the military potential of Palestinian groups (at least before the civil conflict in this country). It is thanks to external support that the Gaza radicals have significantly improved their combat capabilities.19 At the same time, it should be emphasized that some of the Palestinian militants have received military training in Lebanon, Syria and Iran.20 One of the leaders of Hamas, Mahmoud al-Zahhar, described the growth of the military potential of the Gaza Strip:"If the Resistance in the West Bank gains at least a quarter of what the Resistance in Gaza has, the occupation can be ended in one day." 21

The tactics of the Hamas militants are significantly affected by the peculiarities of the Palestinian enclave. Due to the small area of the Gaza Strip, it is impossible to "absorb" an Israeli strike at the expense of strategic depth. Guided by this, the militants of Hamas and its allied groups decided to transfer the armed confrontation to densely populated residential areas of the sector-an area where the military and technical superiority of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is becoming limited. After all, the main shelters of militants in the Gaza Strip could only be its buildings. All this has made the civilian population of the Palestinian enclave a kind of" human shield " of militants.


The implementation of the unilateral disengagement program did not bring the peace Israel expected. This move by Tel Aviv was perceived as a result of violent anti-Israeli actions, 22 which only encouraged the Palestinian radicals to continue the armed struggle. As a result, anti-Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip have sharply intensified since the evacuation of Jewish settlements.

In the course of the unfolding hostilities, the Israelis began to adhere to tactics with an emphasis on air strikes, which relegated the ground operation to the background. Chief of the General Staff Dan Halutz strongly promoted the doctrine of ensuring Israel's security based on combat aircraft that perform many of the tasks of the ground armed forces.23

A special place in Tel Aviv's foreign policy is traditionally occupied by special services and special events, 24 during which Israeli security forces strike at militants in their own territories.25 So, in the Gaza Strip, the Israelis actively used special forces units that operated in the areas of the most frequent rocket launches. These units identified the locations of the launchers, and if they were found, they destroyed both the missiles and the militants.26

Israeli success in the 2006 campaign in the Palestinian enclave was rather limited. Despite this, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed doubts about the need to expand the scale of hostilities in the Gaza Strip.27 In turn, Tel Aviv's postponement of a larger military operation did not provide the Gaza radicals with an opportunity to continue building up their military capabilities.

Over time, the Israeli leadership began to pay more attention to ground operations, which was reflected in the careful preparation of the ground stage of Operation Cast Lead. 29 However, the Cast Lead ground operation was limited in scope and did not extend to the entire territory of the Palestinian enclave - fighting took place on the outskirts of Gaza City and refugee camps.30

Due to the limited scale of the ground operation, Hamas ' military infrastructure was not weakened as much as possible. In turn, without the maximum weakening of the military infrastructure, the creation of a "new republic" is planned.-

page 10

a long-term cessation of rocket and mortar attacks and all attacks from the Gaza Strip at the southern borders of Israel was impossible.

During Operation Cast Lead, Israeli soldiers were confronted with the active use of improvised explosive devices by Palestinian militants. "We continue to face the crazy reality that tunnels and schools are being mined and turned into traps for soldiers. In one of the neighborhoods where there are about 150 houses, we found over 30 buildings booby-trapped. Hamas is setting up similar traps in all the houses that have been abandoned by their inhabitants, " Brigadier General Avi Benayagu said on 31 March.

In the future, in an effort to minimize its own losses, Tel Aviv made a bet on the tactics of "remote fire impact", which was made possible by Israel's implementation of the Iron Dome missile defense system project. The introduction of the dome in 2011 not only significantly strengthened Israel's defense capabilities, but also provided an innovative response to the challenge posed to it by Palestinian militants.32 The national missile defense system is being developed by the Israelis with significant financial support from the United States33.

The armed confrontation in 2012 was marked by the Israeli large-scale operation Pillar of Cloud, which was aimed at neutralizing the missile threat from the Gaza Strip. So, during the operation, 980 underground rocket launching devices were attacked. 34 The Iron Dome reliably protected the rear of Israel from rocket attacks by Gaza radicals. But most importantly, the use of the "dome" allowed Tel Aviv to neutralize the missile threat without resorting to the introduction of troops into the territory of the Gaza Strip, thanks to which it was possible to avoid casualties in the ranks of IDF soldiers during the ground operation. The ability to avoid a large-scale ground operation on the territory of the Palestinian enclave was an important advantage in light of the fact that Hamas has further improved its military capabilities compared to previous rounds of armed confrontation.

Thus, one of the main factors that ensured the effectiveness of the "remote fire impact" tactic was the high efficiency of the Iron Dome batteries, the accelerated commissioning of which was the main focus in the development of the Israeli missile defense system.35

During the fighting in 2012, Tel Aviv was able to achieve a significant increase in the deterrent effect in the confrontation with the Gaza radicals with minimal losses on its part. However, as is well known, deterrence in itself is not a means to prevent the strengthening of the enemy.36 Tel Aviv's success in the 2012 campaign could not stop a further increase in military tensions along Israel's southern borders. A new large-scale round of armed confrontation was inevitable.

In preparing for it, the Hamas leadership took into account the fact that the effectiveness of using rocket weapons against the Israeli rear has significantly decreased due to Tel Aviv's success in creating a multi-level missile defense system. In addition, the Israeli Air Force can successfully neutralize a significant part of the militants ' missile arsenal, which was clearly demonstrated during military operations in the territories of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

Under the circumstances, the Gaza radicals decided to step up the use of tunnels leading to Israel in order to transfer ground battles to the territory of their enemy. According to the calculations of the leadership of the Palestinian militants, the tunnels were supposed to play a major role during the next stage of the armed confrontation with the Israelis, as announced by the official representative of Hamas Mushir al-Masri: "The future battle will not be like a "Fire Stone"*: from the ground we will reach their fortresses, bases and homes!"37. A new large-scale round of armed confrontation between Tel Aviv and Palestinian radicals took place in the summer of 2014. It was marked by Operation Unbreakable Rock, which focused on neutralizing the rocket and tunnel threats from the Gaza Strip. "We know that Hamas terrorists are hiding and operating out of the ground, and that's where we will go after them," the Israeli army said.38

Today, it is safe to say that thanks to the colossal efforts of Hamas, it was possible to reduce the once huge gap in military and technical equipment between the Palestinians and Israelis. And this gap continues to narrow, primarily due to the supply of new weapons and technologies to the Gaza Strip. One of the leaders of Hamas, Mahmoud al-Zahhar, said: "The Palestinians must develop and improve their weapons. It is necessary to reach a level that allows strikes to be carried out on the entire territory of occupied Palestine. This is the goal we are aiming for-

* Israeli Operation Pillar of Cloud.

page 11

we hope to achieve this goal in the near future. " 39 In turn, the continued development of the combat capabilities of the radical organizations of the Palestinian enclave is one of the main threats to Israel's security, which requires adjusting the strategic course of Tel Aviv in the confrontation with the Hamas movement and its allied groups.

Abramova I. O., Fituni L. L. 1 Aggressive non-state participants of geostrategic rivalry in "Islamic Africa" / / Asia and Africa Today. 2014. N 12, с. 15. (Abramova I. O., Fituni L.L. 2014. Agressivnye negosudarstvennye uchastniki geostrategicheskogo sopernichestva v "islamskoi Afrike" // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 12) (in Russian)

Ilinsky M. 2 Today in Israel. A view from Tel Aviv / / Asia and Africa Today. 2004. N 7, p. 40. (Ilinsky M. 2004. Segodnya v Izraile. Vzglyad iz Tel-Aviva // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 7) (in Russian)

Mironov A. N. 3 Mechanisms of implementation of the" Disengagement Plan " of the Israeli Prime Minister A. Sharon and problems of its implementation. 2010. N 3, p. 172.

4. Baramki G. 4 Terrorism and Israeli-Palestinian relations / / Asia and Africa today. 2005. N 10, с. 50. (Baramki G. 2005. Terrorizm i izrailsko-palestinskie otnosheniya // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 10) (in Russian)

Mirskiy G. I. 5 Islamskiy fundamentalizm, sunnity i shiity [Islamic Fundamentalism, Sunnis and Shiites]. 2008. N 9, p. 6.

Khazanov A. 6 Israel - Hezbollah: lessons not learned // Asia and Africa today. 2006. N 10, p. 42. (Khazanov A. 2006. Izrail - "Khezbolla": nevyuchennye uroki / / Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 10) (in Russian)

Nefedov S., Stepanov A., Cherny Yu 7 Operation "Sugar Holem" - retribution without retribution / / Army. 2007. N 3, p. 62.

Matthews M.M. 8 We Were Caught Unprepared: The 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli War. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: Combat Studies Institute Press, US Army Combined Arms Center, 2008, p. 19.

Shapir Y. 9 Hamas' Weapons // Strategic Assessment. 2009. Vol. 11. N 4, p. 52.

10 For example, Dirar Abu-Sisi, head of the Hamas "military academy" and a graduate of the Kharkiv Military Engineering Academy, where his supervisor was a specialist in Scud missile control systems, was one of the creators of the rockets that Palestinian radicals used to fire at Israeli territory. See: A Hamas engineer has been charged with making rockets // МИД Израиля - IndictmentGazan_engineer_Dirar_Abu_Sisi_4-Apr-2011.aspx

Ermakov A. A., Ryzhov I. V. 11 When will peace come to the West Bank of Jordan? Causes and main stages of the protracted conflict / / Asia and Africa Today. 2014. N 8, p. 40. (Ermakov A. A., Ryzhov I. V. 2014. Kogda pridet mir na zapadnyi bereg lordana? Prichiny i osnovnye etapy zatianuvshegosya konflikta // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 8) (in Russian)

Epshtein 12 Israelis and Palestinians: from Confrontation to Negotiations and Back. Moscow, Bridges of Culture, Jerusalem: Gesharim. 2009, p. 149.

Rubin U. 13 Palestinian Rockets versus Israeli Missiles in the Second Gaza War // The Washington Institute for Near East Policy - nd-gaza-war

Dekel U., Schweitzer Y., Siboni G., Landau E.B., Bermant A., Shapir Y.S. ... 14 The Lessons of Operation Protective Edge. Tel Aviv. Institute for National Security Studies. 2014, p. 17.

Vinichenko M. V. 15 System-structural representation of the use of underground space by troops // Military thought. 2007. N 7, p. 55.

16 Cit. by: SHIN BET chief: In a few years, Gaza will turn into a second Lebanon - diskin.html

17 Cit. po: "Victory is a gift from God" / / Palestinian Information Center - q7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bils7A4uegntAPr%2fkWrW%2f PhOAlwy9pz5dnjYggJjeAcs4JGHKqISkYhGy%2b42WwLBNaFVn%2f EKGMpKjGHl%2bwefGdeh%2bA5KVJmKeIGwQfRveDsSRlrI%3d

Halevi J.D. 18 Hamas's Attack Tunnels: Analysis and Initial Implications // Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs - hamas-attack-tunnels/

Galant Y. 19 The Strategic Challenge of Gaza // Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs -

Aviad G. 20 Hamas' Military Wing in the Gaza Strip: Development, Patterns of Activity, and Forecast // Military and Strategic Affairs. 2009. Vol. 1. N 1, p. 7.

21 Cit. by: Mahmoud al-Zahhar: "The occupation can be ended in a day" / / Palestinian Information Center 7MD146m9rUxJEpMO%2bils7VG3nZC31u8RnbDbUhgPw0nKYNY% 2fB75y2LbIxwfJay5JVEktrYeiTzRCrM8IXZlWd6NA%2b8ovOWjgz7 MY9%2fNNrFzZMSM2x2B98GPTKm3P(VB0%3d

22 Yashlavsky A. E. 22 Hamas and geopolitical processes in the Middle East. 2008. No. 5, p. 31.

Korolev A.V. 23 "Low-intensity conflict". A new method of Israel's struggle with the Palestinians / / Asia and Africa Today. 2009. N 3, p. 18. (Korolev A.V. 2009. "Konflikt nizkoi intensivnosti". Novyi metod borby Izrailya s palestintsami // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 3) (in Russian)

Kornilov A. A. 24 Safety is paramount. Concepts of Foreign policy and National Security of the State of Israel. N. Novgorod, UNN Publishing House. 2005, p. 91.

25. Yanov O., Ivanov I. 25 Antiterrorist aspects of the actions of the armed forces of Israel / / Foreign Military Review. 2006. N 8, p. 14.

Groysman E. 26 Voina v rezheme non-stop [War in the non-stop mode]. 2007. N 1, p. 50.

27 Ehud Olmert: there will be no expansion of the military operation in Gaza -

Zelyony V. V. 28 Israel: principles of combating terrorism / / Asia and Africa today. 2014. N 7, с. 35. (Zelenyi V.V. 2014. Izrail: printsipy borby s terrorizmom // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 7) (in Russian)

29 Operation Cast Lead was conducted in the winter of 2008-2009 and consisted of air and ground operations. The air stage began on December 27, 2008, and the ground stage began on January 3, 2009.

Ratner R. 30" Litoy svinets": pervye itogi ["Cast lead": the first results]. 2009. N 19, p. 3.

31 Cit. by: Education from Hamas: a booby-trapped school -

Ermakov A. A. 32 Proekt "Zhelezny kupol" kak instrument voennoi politiki Gosudarstva Izrail [The Iron Dome project as an instrument of military Policy of the State of Israel], Nizhny Novgorod Journal of International Studies, Nizhny Novgorod, UNN, 2011 (autumn-winter 2011), p. 143. (Ermakov A. A. 2011. Proekt "Zhelezny kupol" kak instrument voennoi politiki Gosudarstva Izrail / / Nizhny Novgorod zhurnal mehdunarodnykh issledovaniy) (in Russian)

Vokov D. 33 Razvitie sistemy protivoraketnoy oborony Izraya [Development of the Israel Missile Defense System]. 2012. N 7, p. 62.

34 News about terrorist activities and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (November 22-27, 2012) / / General Meir Amit Center for Intelligence and Anti - Terrorist Information- 20434 / R 241_12_1622656095. pdf

Yershov O. 35 VVS i PVO Izraya [Israel's Air Force and Air Defense]. 2014. N 9, p. 64.

Haloutz D. 36 The Second Lebanon War: Achievements and Failures // Military and Strategic Affairs. 2009. Vol. 1. N 2, p. 70.

37 Cit. Po:" Our land will help us in the crucial hours: from under it we will reach their bases and fortresses! " / / Palestinian Information Center- 2bils77j21MuFrvb2%2fPexh uRbXCUKgLI5fngIH05mn4eRMFbXHjz99ORmTF28kpvfBPnklmZ8id TK12HAGIqCgxGZdISX3Zwb7Xt6fR4FUleOkCL4%3d

38 Cit. by: Israel launches ground operation in Gaza after Hamas rejects peace deal - world/18jul2014/nazemoper.html

39 Cit. by: "The Palestinians must develop and improve their weapons, including organizational ones!" / / Palestinian Information Center - =U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bils7%2fkGYlVEjx0mz5 9V31x96KRKN60BQTgnIrzcplThjtp7rjln3APlMzDkjvoQirDM20M% 2BUAMXHGRGJ7ACZIJMDCCCQRP2WPH3EFXXVAGQCZC%3d



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