ANALYSIS: Iran’s strategic plan and Israel’s tunnel dilemma in Gaza

The upcoming ground operation in Gaza won’t be easy. Hamas is well equipped and funded by Iran, and dug in very deep.

By Yochanan Visser | | Topics: Hamas, Gaza
Photo by Michael Giladi/Flash90

Iran’s plan for the destruction of Israel is currently in its first phase.

That plan was drawn up by the assassinated commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qassem Soleimani and approved by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The first phase of Soleimani’s plan manifested itself in drawing Israel into a multi-front war while Iran itself will not participate in this war.

As we now know, the current phase is overseen by the new commander of the Quds Brigade, Ishmail Ghani, who arrived in Damascus at the beginning of the war, after a detour via Lebanon.

The detour became necessary after the Israeli Air Force (IAF) bombed the runways of two airports in Syria just as Ghani’s plane was about to land.

Ghani wrote a situation report for Khamenei on Monday in which he pleaded for more fronts in the current war against Israel.

In response, Khamenei gave him a free hand and an unlimited budget to implement the next phases of Iran’s plan with Israel.

Phase two will begin when the IDF enters Gaza to end the Hamas regime there and then the biggest problem the IDF will have to tackle is the so-called ‘metro’, a huge underground complex of tunnels and halls.

More about that later.

Khamenei appears willing to sacrifice Hamas and Gaza in order to implement the third phase of Soleimani’s plan.


Phase three

When the IDF with a force of about 300,000 men will be busy with the destruction of the “metro” and the fight against the Hamas army of about 45,000 men, phase three of Iran’s plan with Israel will begin.

This phase consists of creating five fronts, namely Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, the heartland of Israel (Judea and Samaria), and Yemen, where the Ansar Allah or Houthi militia has already launched a failed attack with 5 drones and 15 cruise missiles on Eilat in Israel on Friday, October 20.

These missiles and drones were intercepted by the US Navy and Saudi Arabia’s air defenses.

Ghani will then bring in Hezbollah with its estimated 200,000 rockets, according to the latest data from the Israeli research institute INSS, and will activate the Shia militias in Syria (approx. 100,000 men) that are supposed to attack Israel from the Syrian Golan Heights.

Khamenei has also recently emphasized the importance of a  fourth front in Judea and Samaria where terrorist groups are being supplied with better weapons by Iran and are currently receiving instructions on how to coordinate their actions with the other members of Iran’s ‘resistance axis’.

The fourth front will also include some of the Israeli Arab towns such as Umm al Fahm in Wadi Ara where already a militia has been spotted training for combat near kibbutz Megiddo

The chaos in Israel will then be overwhelming and the Israeli army will implode, the Iranian resistance axis expects.


Phase four

Then comes phase four. Iran will take advantage of the chaos in the Middle East and hopes that the United States and other countries will also be drawn into a regional war.

At that time, Iran will take the final step in the long process that must lead to the production of a nuclear weapon.

The conditions will then be ideal because the world community is already obsessed with what is happening in Israel and the forces of the allies of Israel will be busy protecting their own soldiers.

In this respect, it is important to mention the huge American military build-up that is currently underway in the Middle East and the increasing attacks on US forces in both Syria and Iraq

It could be, however, that Iran already has a nuclear weapon because intelligence services do not always know what exactly is happening in Iran. This also applies to Mossad, the Israeli spy agency.

Phase four of Soleimani’s plan has never been published but it is clear that it could be completed with nuclear weapons if necessary.

This is in short  Soleimani’s plan and Iran’s strategy in the developing multi-front war against Israel.


The ‘metro’ in Gaza

Now to the ‘metro’ complex in Gaza that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have constructed since 2007, sometimes tens of meters underground.

This vast complex of tunnels, underground military facilities, and dormitories includes approximately 450 kilometers of tunnels, according to a 2021 estimate.

The complex is an underground city that is now also used to hold the 224 kidnapped hostages.

The metro will be used for defensive as well as offensive purposes and Hamas and PIJ will be able to move forces quickly and carry out surprise attacks on IDF units while the same goes for the rockets that Hamas and PIJ have stored in the complex.

The IDF is taking into account the possibility that large parts of the tunnel complex are booby-trapped.

Hamas has also conventional telephone lines in the tunnel complex to avoid detection of communications by Israeli intelligence services.


Israel’s options

However, the IDF has the manpower and resources to destroy the tunnels.

For example, there is the elite Yahalom unit that specializes in detecting and destroying tunnels while there are also the Samur and Sayfan elite units.

Samur specializes in warfare in tunnels and other underground military facilities and has all the means to destroy tunnels as well.

Sayfan specializes in urban and unconventional warfare and the IDF also has Oketz, a special unit that works with dogs trained in tunnel combat. These units also possess technological equipment such as robots that will make the soldiers’ work less dangerous.

Israel also has weapons that can penetrate and destroy tunnels for example the American GBU-28, a guided bomb that can destroy targets up to 70 meters underground.

Another example is the MPR-500 bunker buster, which can destroy concrete walls up to one meter thick underground.

The IDF has also developed a new bomb that can easily close off the tunnel entrances. These are sponge bombs a novel chemical device that creates a foam wall that seals off tunnel entrances.

However, there is a much easier way to make the tunnel complex under Gaza useless and that is to switch off the electricity that powers the ventilation system.

Israel has stopped the supply of fuel to Gaza and Hamas claims there is already an acute energy shortage.

Although the terrorist organization has a large number of underground storage tanks, its fuel supply is shrinking every day. When there is no more fuel, the only power station in Gaza will stop supplying electricity, and the many generators in use by Hamas will also stop supplying energy.

This could be one of the reasons why Israel adamantly refused to supply fuel to Gaza and delayed the ground offensive. After all, stopping the ventilation system in the tunnels will mean that Hamas will have to bring its troops up quickly.


Israel’s dilemma

The dilemma that Israel faces in this context is that Hamas is also holding the hostages in the metro. The postponement of the ground invasion in Gaza is partly related to this.

The IDF will have to make an attempt at the beginning of every ground operation to free the 224 hostages held by Hamas but chances are high that at least some of these hostages, 138 of them foreigners or people with dual citizenship, will not return alive to their homes in Israel and other countries.


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One response to “ANALYSIS: Iran’s strategic plan and Israel’s tunnel dilemma in Gaza”

  1. spenglersilvia says:

    Auch der allmächtige Gott hat Streiter, Er möge sie einsetzen wie Er es in anderen Kriegen tat.
    Und mögen die IDF – Kämpfer geschützt und wieder zu ihren Lieben nach Hause kommen, Söhne und Töchter, Mütter und Väter.

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