| Palestinians evacuate wounded after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah refugee camp Southern Gaza Strip October 122023 Photo APHatam Ali | MR Online Palestinians evacuate wounded after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah refugee camp, Southern Gaza Strip, October 12,2023. (Photo: AP/Hatam Ali)

Israelis mulling ‘Leningrad approach’ in Gaza: Seymour Hersh report

Originally published: Al Mayadeen on October 12, 2023 by Agencies (more by Al Mayadeen)  | (Posted Oct 14, 2023)

According to U.S. investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, an Israeli national security veteran said that “Israel” is pondering whether to use a “Leningrad approach” to starve out “Hamas forces” in Gaza and avoid an invasion, something the source said may lead to the murder of nearly 100,000 civilians.

The Israeli source told Hersh that “The big debate today … is whether to starve Hamas out or kill as many as 100,000 people in Gaza,” adding that,

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.

The Israeli occupation continues to bombard residential areas and hospitals, as well as vital infrastructure in the Gaza Strip amid a stifling blockade that is putting at risk numerous vital resources, such as fuel, food, and medicine, with the health sector being seriously jeopardized by the stifling siege.

Information revealed to Al Mayadeen indicates that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is being exacerbated by the hour, with 330,000 people, 15% of Gaza’s population, being displaced since the start of the aggression. This figure does not include the families moving between their families’ homes, meaning this figure could be as high as 33%.

The Palestinian people, according to information obtained by Al Mayadeen, do not feel safe in UNRWA schools where they usually take shelter.

Arab foreign ministers called for the “immediate” dispatch of food, fuel, and humanitarian aid to Gaza, urging the Israeli occupation to reconsider its unjust blockade.

The source told Hersh that Hamas forces are believed to live underground, rendering the Leningrad approach more effective as it would avoid a ground offensive.

According to the source, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and occupation officials are skeptical they could manage a ground attack in Gaza since they have not been trained for warfare and are primarily utilized as security guards in the West Bank.

The source also believes the Leningrad method may also push Hamas to release some hostages in return for supplies.

The situation is exceedingly fluid and unexpected, and “Israel” may opt to launch a broad ground assault, according to the source.

The Leningrad Siege

| Three men bury victims of Leningrad | MR Online's siege 1942, Volvo Cemetery, Leningrad (RIA Novosti's archive)

Three men bury victims of Leningrad’s siege 1942, Volvo Cemetery, Leningrad (RIA Novosti’s archive)

The Siege of Leningrad stands as one of the darkest chapters of World War II, when German and Finnish forces, under the command of Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler, besieged the city of Leningrad in the Soviet Union. The attack resulted in an estimated 1.2 million casualties, including 140,000 children, over approximately 842 days.

Nazi forces laid siege to the city of Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg, during World War II, from September 8, 1941, to January 27, 1944, hoping to break Soviet resistance and capture the city.

Hitler tasked the besieging forces with destroying the city to the largest extent possible, using aerial bombardment and artillery shelling, before entering it in the spring to displace its residents to remote Russian regions or take them as prisoners.

During the city’s siege by Nazi forces time, civilians endured the hardships of starvation, indiscriminate shelling, and air raids.

German forces cut off Leningrad from the south and west, encircling the city by land and sea, and blocking all supplies from reaching the city.

The residents of Leningrad suffered greatly during the siege, losing access to food, water, electricity, and medical care. Over a million people in the city perished due to hunger and disease.

Studies have shown that shelling and bombing by the invaders accounted for 3% of siege victims, while the majority succumbed to food shortages and sickness due to the shortage of essential goods.

‘Atrocity’ allegations debunked

Netanyahu alleged that what Hamas carried out was worse than ISIS, claiming “evidence” that Hamas members committed war crimes. However, these allegations have been debunked.

Oren Oziv, a journalist based in “Israel” and part of the group of journalists who were admitted into a media tour of the “Kfar Azza” settlement, denied reports of “Hamas beheading children.”

“During the tour, we didn’t see any evidence of this, and the army spokesperson or commanders also didn’t mention any such incidents,” Oren Ziv said in a post on X.

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