The ‘Devil’s Playground’ of Urban Combat That Israel Is Preparing to Enter

Heavy fire from rooftops and booby-trapped apartments. Armor-piercing projectiles blowing up troop carriers. Fighters blending in with civilians, launching drone ambushes, or surging from tunnels full of enough ammunition, food and water to sustain a long war.

As the Israeli Army gathers tanks at the Gaza border for a threatened invasion aimed at crushing Hamas, experts are warning that the country’s troops could face some of the fiercest street-to-street combat since World War II in Gaza City and other densely packed areas.

Urban warfare studies and American officials offer dire comparisons to Iraq: Think of Falluja in 2004, the most intense battles that American troops had faced since Vietnam, or the nine-month fight to defeat the Islamic State in Mosul in 2016, which led to

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