Israel is debating whether to use a “Leningrad approach” as adopted during the Nigerian civil war to starve out Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip and thus avoid a ground invasion, U.S. investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reports.
But that course of action may kill some 100,000 residents as well, Hersh said, citing an Israeli national security veteran.
“The big debate today … is whether to starve Hamas out or kill as many as 100,000 people in Gaza,” the source told Hersh.
“Hamas now only has a two or three-day supply of purified water and that, along with a lack of food … may be enough to flush all the Hamas (forces) out,” he added.
On Monday, Israel announced a full blockade of Gaza, cutting off food, water, medicines, fuel, and electricity.
The situation in Gaza has already been dire due to round-the-clock airstrikes on civilian sites, including on mosques, hospitals, educational institutions, and residential buildings.
Hersh cited the source as saying that Hamas’ forces are believed to primarily live underground so the Leningrad approach would avoid the potentially difficult and costly ground offensive that would involve building-by-building fighting.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the country’s military leadership have not been confident that their forces could handle a ground offensive in Gaza given that many have not trained for combat and are used primarily as security guards in the West Bank, the source said.
The Leningrad approach may also force Hamas’ hand to release some Israeli women and children that it had taken hostage in exchange for supplies, the source said.
The situation is highly fluid and unpredictable, and Israel may decide to move forward with a general ground invasion, the source said of the move to starve Hamas which is in control of the Gaza Strip.
Some 360,000 reservists have been undergoing crash training since being called up and Israel could decide on its military strategy by the end of the week, the source added. (Sputnik/NAN)
GWG.ng reports that the Leningrad policy was similarly adopted with Chief Obafemi Awolowo as finance commissioner during the Nigerian Civil War when the Biafran enclave was denied essential supplies.
However, the move by Israel to starve the Gaza Strip is popular in Israel following anger over the massacre in Israel which has led to the death of more than 1,500 nationals.