May 06, 2024

What to Expect from Israel’s Rafah Offensive

Source: Foreign Policy

Journalist: Jack Detsch

In other cities where the IDF has fought since this war began, such as Khan Younis, troops were able to move neighborhood by neighborhood, sector by sector, clearing out people as they needed to. But larger masses of people will likely be forced out this time as the IDF moves in. “Rafah is going to fundamentally look a bit different,” said Jonathan Lord, a senior fellow and the director of the Middle East security program at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based think tank. It “isn’t quite as clean, necessarily.”

The Hamas battalions fighting in Rafah are “fairly indigenous” to the area, Lord said. They rely on the Philadelphi Corridor, a dense network of tunnels. The Israelis have tried to put in a subterranean wall to block Hamas’s use of the corridor but haven’t been successful.

“Hamas is most likely dug in and prepared to fight from emplaced positions where they have access to tunnels and resupply and the ability to exfiltrate and escape and move around,” Lord said. “That becomes a little bit harder in some of the improvised humanitarian areas.”

Read the full story and more from Foreign Policy.


  • Jonathan Lord

    Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program

    Jonathan Lord is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security program at CNAS. Prior to joining CNAS, Lord served as a professional staff member for the House Arme...