Israeli Army Loses 88 Armoured Vehicles in Five Days of Combat - Satellite Images Indicate


Nov 14, 2023. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas


The Israeli Army reportedly lost 88 armoured vehicles in five days of hostilities in the Gaza Strip, according to assessments using satellite images of northwest Gaza, with this representing 23 percent of 383 vehicles visible by satellite in the area.


Although Israeli forces have made significant territorial gains, dividing Gaza into northern and southern areas, footage has repeatedly shown Hamas and other Palestinian militia groups successfully neutralising Israeli tanks and armoured personnel carriers.

 Militia units have at times used complex tactics such as planting explosives on vehicles to neutralise tanks’ active protection systems before firing on them with rocket propelled grenades.

From early October footage also showed successful attacks on Israeli armour outside the Gaza Strip using drones. 

The losses faced in Gaza are particularly significant when considering that Israeli armour has taken further losses on the country’s northern border with Lebanon, where Hezbollah anti tank units have specifically targeted vehicles with much more sophisticated anti tank weapons than those available to Palestinian militias as part of ongoing lower level hostilities.

Reports of high attrition rates among Israeli armoured vehicles coincides with reports from regional media outlets that a tank brigade commander, Colonel Sheldag Zior, was killed in action, meaning the highest ranking reported loss among Israeli forces has been a tank officer. Reported attrition rates corroborate with growing sightings of older generations of tanks, namely Merkava IIIs, in combat in Gaza.

Israeli armour losses were particularly high in the second week of October, when Hamas forces made major gains and captured multiple military facilities and arms depots outside Gaza which placed dozens of newer Merkava tanks and hundreds of other armoured vehicles under their control.

These are reported to have been destroyed en masse. With Israel having begun phasing the Merkava III out of frontline service in 2005, and planing to begin wide introductions of the Merkava V from late 2023 to replace many of the Merkava III units remaining, the unusually large number of Merkava IIIs observed has increasingly been cited by analysts as an indicator that newer vehicles are not widely available.

The ongoing nature of hostilities, however, makes more certain estimates of losses from either side difficult to make.

Military Watch Magazine