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30 Days In: IDF Divides Gaza, Initiating Siege Amid Escalating Pressure

Written by:
Yishai Gelb

In the heart of a complex geopolitical landscape, the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip unfolds as a high-stakes showdown between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and militant factions. With divergent strategic goals shaping the dynamics between Israel and the United States, and mounting international pressure for a ceasefire, the situation demands a nuanced understanding. As the IDF strategically advances, and diplomatic efforts unfold, this tumultuous chapter holds implications not only for the region but also for global alliances and the delicate balance of power.

30 Days In: IDF Divides Gaza, Initiating Siege Amid Escalating Pressure

In the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are deploying significant firepower to target critical locations and intensify their presence in the region, particularly in the northern areas, with the objective of gaining control over the Gaza metropolis and reinforcing the siege. Despite substantial losses and mounting pressure from Washington, the Israeli government remains steadfast in its commitment to a ceasefire only upon complete dismantlement of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

Divergent strategic goals between Israel and the United States shaped their approach to the war. Israel pursues the complete elimination of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, prioritizing this goal even at a high cost. In contrast, the Biden administration, while supporting Israel's objective, emphasizes minimizing harm to civilians by establishing a humanitarian corridor for aid and fuel transfer. Additionally, the U.S. urges Israel to expedite negotiations with Qatar for the release of captives to swiftly conclude the hostilities.

IDF in Gaza

Post-war considerations come into play for the United States, factoring in the coalition dynamics between Israel and Sunni Arab countries against Shia nations. Maintaining the U.S. capability to withdraw from the Middle East is crucial for a strategic balance against Russia and China. Secretary of State Blinken's recent visit to Israel underscores these considerations, although a ceasefire remains contingent on the release of all abductees, as insisted upon by the Israeli Prime Minister.

Regional diplomacy unfolds as a summit on November 4 in Jordan sees participation from key players, including Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. While Blinken supports Israel's stance on victory and a delayed ceasefire for humanitarian aid, other Arab representatives push for an immediate ceasefire, a prisoner exchange, and prevention of further Palestinian casualties.

In Europe and the USA, protests against Israel gained momentum, drawing support from diverse groups, including extreme Jews urging the Biden government to cease Israeli aid and broker an immediate ceasefire.






President Biden, facing re-election in 2024, confronts mounting pressure from the American public, including Jewish constituents advocating for a shift in policy towards Israel. Internal party dynamics add complexity to Biden's stance on the conflict.

Within Gaza, Hamas seeks to maintain a civilian population in the war zones to leverage international pressure on Israel. Efforts by the IDF to open a corridor for civilian movement face challenges, with Hamas firing rockets to disrupt the passage. Despite the death toll reported by Hamas, the IDF's rapid advance suggests Hamas may not be adequately prepared for the IDF’s ability to work fast in the heavy metropolitan of Gaza.

The IDF's strategic moves focus on encircling Gaza City from the south and west, facilitating equipment transfer and rapid casualty evacuation by sea. The United States has provided substantial military support, including over 3,000 tons of equipment and air support, while Israel orders equipment worth over NIS 10 billion.

Amid global efforts for a ceasefire, France plans a summit in Paris involving European and Arab representatives, excluding an Israeli presence. The goal is to promote a ceasefire and humanitarian aid for Palestinians.

Egypt's economic challenges are reflected in a credit rating drop to B-, creating an opportunity for Jerusalem to pressure Egypt into opening the Rafah crossing. Under the table, deals are being discussed including forgiving Egypt's international debt in return for opening the border and allowing Gaza residents to flee.

In the northern theater, Israel and Hizballah engage in a cautious dance, avoiding an all-out conflict. On November 3rd, Hizballah's leader addressed the ongoing war, asserting that it is a Palestinian battle concerning Israel alone, with no prior coordination with Hizballah. Despite indications that Hizballah might not seek confrontation, the IDF remains on high alert with over 250,000 fully equipped soldiers along the northern border. Evacuation of border communities has eliminated a key tactical advantage for Hizballah. However, public opinion pressures Hizballah to reconsider, potentially forcing it into a conflict with Israel. 

The Israeli government, keen on swiftly defeating Hamas in Gaza, aims to avoid distractions on other fronts, especially considering the evolving landscape of advanced air defense systems. The imperative to secure victory in Gaza before international pressure peaks and the risk of opening a second front looms large underscores the delicate balance Israel must navigate.

Supporting the IDF

We are thrilled to share with you Connections Israel's upcoming project: our Winter Campaign. It's more than just a drive; it's a movement to bring warmth and support to our soldiers on the Northern front. As the heat intensifies on the Lebanon front, the potential for a second front against Hizballa looms.

Now, more than ever, our soldiers need our collective strength and generosity.

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