Israel’s ground war in Gaza has started. How will it end?

“This is our second war of independence.” On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that a “second stage” in Israel’s war against Hamas has begun. Ground operations in Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces have two goals, Netanyahu said: the destruction of Hamas’s military and governing capabilities, and the return of hostages taken during the terrorist group’s October 7 attacks. Underscoring that the conflict would be “long,” he compared it to the 1948 war that led to Israel’s founding—a war that, among Palestinians, is known instead as the Nakba, or the “catastrophe.” Meanwhile, nearly three weeks of heavy Israeli airstrikes have created a dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. Below, Atlantic Council experts share their insights on what to expect next.

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