Reducing the number of Israeli tanks and armored vehicles in the Gaza Strip could have a significant impact on the military situation in the region, because armor plays a vital role in attacking urban areas.
Since the outbreak of the conflict, the Israeli Army has suffered heavy losses in armor in the war with Hamas forces. Al Jazeera reported that the number of armored vehicles deployed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the Gaza Strip has decreased significantly. According to the source, the total number of tanks and other armored vehicles decreased from 383 to 295. Currently, there is no exact information about the cause of the sharp decrease in the number of IDF armor.
It is assumed that some vehicles were destroyed during the war, others were damaged and needed to be brought back for repair. In addition, it is also possible that some IDF combat units have been withdrawn from this area to reinforce the Lebanese border, as fighting with Hezbollah is increasing, but this is unlikely to happen as the fighting here is still very fierce.
In response, military and strategic expert Major General Faysal al-Duwayri explained the disappearance of the 88 Israeli vehicles. He ruled out the possibility of their withdrawal, stating that it goes against military logic, given that the occupying army is in an offensive state. Al-Duwayri suggested that these vehicles may have been destroyed, disabled, or rendered non-operational in terms of field combat service.
Al-Duwayri referred to statements made by Abu Ubaida, the spokesperson for the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. Abu Ubaida had previously mentioned that al-Qassam fighters had destroyed 160 military vehicles and tanks in all axes of Israeli incursions, not just in the northwest axis of Gaza. This adds credibility to al-Duwayri’s explanation and the figures he presented.
Reducing the number of Israeli tanks and armored vehicles in the Gaza Strip could have a significant impact on the military situation in the region, because armor plays a vital role in attacking urban areas. It is unclear whether this change will affect the strategy and combat tactics of the Israel Defense Forces in the Gaza Strip.
In other developments, the Tel Aviv government canceled the sale of 200 Merkava II/III main battle tanks to the Republic of Cyprus as a backup in case of major losses on the battlefield. Not only that, the Magach tanks – a modernized version of the US-made M48/60 Patton series, currently decommissioned and being stored in the Negev desert, are also in a state of readiness to re-enlist if required.
Israel maintains secrecy regarding its military equipment losses during the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Al-Qassam Brigades had previously announced that they documented the complete or partial destruction of more than 160 military vehicles. Israeli losses also extend to the economic realm, with preliminary figures released by the Ministry of Finance in the occupying government indicating that the cost of the war could reach up to 200 billion shekels (51 billion dollars).
Israeli estimates further suggest that the cost of the war equals 10% of the gross domestic product, based on the possibility of the conflict continuing for 8 to 12 months, limited to Gaza without the full involvement of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran, or Yemen. This calculation also considers the quick return of approximately 350,000 Israeli reserve forces members to work soon.