Reports in the world media that Israel has invaded Gaza to combat militants are being seen by some as a ruse to draw the fighters into strategic positions, making them vulnerable for Israeli airpower.
The news that Israel Defense Forces soldiers were queueing up near Israel’s border with Gaza was widely published on Thursday. Then, early Friday in Israel, an IDF announcement led news outlets to widely announce the start of an invasion. However, it became clear that an assault did occur, but it did not include Israeli troops breaching Gaza.
Nir Dvori, a military reporter for N12, one of Israel’s leading news organizations, characterized the initial IDF declaration as deception intended to entice Gaza fighters to join the tunnel system, dubbed “the metro” by the IDF, to train for street battles in the city.
“The IDF makes Hamas think that a ground operation is beginning, which causes the organization to bring in all its fighters, including the Nahba, the special force of Hamas, to go down into the tunnels and prepare for combat,” Dvori wrote.
The Israel Defense Forces’ false declaration on Thursday night seems to have been a ruse designed to draw Hamas troops into defensive tunnels that were later bombarded by the Israeli army.