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2023 Israel-Hamas War (מלחמת חרבות ברזל) - some data and charts
We are currently on the 149 day since the war started, on early morning October 7th, 2023.
Overview: The 2023 Israel-Hamas War marks a significant conflict in the Middle East, with far-reaching impacts.
This conflict is far different than past escalations in Gaza or Israel-Palestine authorities conflicts, and leads to various military and civilian actions and reactions.
This analysis only touches some quantitative aspects, and tracks data changes over time.
For contextual understanding and background, you may refer to
https://oct7map.com/ that provides a map visualisation with insights into the events of the October 7th Massacre.
In addition read this CSIS analysis where you can get a sense of how serious is the event.
There are many sources that adds info not fully expressed in this dashboard. For example the INSS that you can click below to see.
We start with the Israelis abducted on October 7th. This dataset may be incomplete. In addition, it doesn't account for the four Israelis already held in Gaza prior to the war.
It indicates 130 individuals currently detained by Hamas, with 99 are alive, or at least not reported otherwise. In addition to 4 Israelis held by Hamas from before Oct 7, 2023.
(It should be noted we don't know how many are alive, and that there are reports that about 20 of the abducted people are dead)
The group includes a nine-month-old baby and elderly individuals who were abruptly awoken by the attack, witnessed the brutal murder of family and friends, and were subsequently taken to Gaza.
None have received visits from the Red Cross, nor are they being afforded the basic human rights typically extended to prisoners of war, a status that does not apply to them.
Presently, the military operation seems ineffective in securing the release of our kidnapped citizens, and it does not demonstrate any clear progress in strengthening our position for negotiations.
Consequently, what is arguably the first goal of the war remains unachieved at this time.
Israeli Internally Displaced People (מפונים ומתפנים)
People living near the border are not safe.
There are many Israelis who are internally displaced in the country
Roughly estimated at 154,000 people, out of which 109,000 are formaly evacuated to other cities.
You can hover on the map to see the name and the population of each town.
Data on formally evacuated towns is from מרכז המחקר והמידע של הכנסת - שירותי חינוך לתלמידים מפונים מביתם במלחמת חרבות ברזל.
Assumption is that towns that are formally evacuated have only 10% of the population that stayed in them,
and informal evacuation from towns with more than 20,000 people are evacuated by only 15% of the population, and towns with less than 20,000 people are evacuated by 50% of the population.
The current estimates for towns with informal evacuation are approximate. Your feedback would be valuable; please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Numbers were calculated under the assumption that formally evacuated towns retain about 10% of their original population.
Additionally, in towns with a population exceeding 20,000, it is estimated that 15% of the population participates in informal evacuation, whereas in towns with fewer than 20,000 residents, this figure rises to 50%.
Some people can't go back home because it is ruined. That goes both in the South (Hamas) but also in the North (Hezbollah).
Many are displaced because their towns are being heavily bombed, and it is not safe to be in the area.
As Nasrallah rightly claimed of Israel is having a security zone in the north for the first time after the security zone was used to be built in South Lebanon
Furthermore, residents living near the border are gripped by fear of another unforeseen massacre, akin to the tragic events of October 7th, leading many to hesitate in returning to their homes.
Alarm Frequency Analysis: Understanding the Scope of Attacks in Israel
The forthcoming graph details the frequency of alarms, indicative of attacks, across various regions in Israel.
It's important to note that this representation is not exhaustive; attacks on Israel manifest in numerous forms.
You can also see here how many days have passed (per range from Gaza) without any attack - to see how it changes over the war (or to estimate how likely is another attack, today)
The data captures only a fraction of the broader narrative of insecurity in Israel.
This includes over 150,000 internally displaced individuals and nearly 70 towns evacuated along the Gaza and Lebanon borders, which have sustained considerable damage.
Many of these towns remain uninhabitable, a situation that would persist even if hostilities ceased immediately.
The inhabitants of these towns face profound uncertainty about their safety and the feasibility of returning home.
There is a prevailing fear that, even in the event of a ceasefire, returning residents may be exposed to another surprise massacure.
As of early January, there has been a noticeable decrease in Hamas-initiated attacks, currently averaging about once a week in most regions.
However, areas within 7 km of Gaza continue to experience almost daily attacks.
The reasons for this reduction are not entirely clear; it could be a strategic conservation of ammunition in anticipation of a prolonged conflict,
or it might be a result of recent military operations.
In the north, Hezbollah's attacks are occurring daily, and there is a discernible escalation in the intensity of these confrontations on both sides.
Despite their name, anti-tank missiles in this conflict are frequently employed against buildings and civilians.
The map depicts the firing locations of these missiles from Lebanon. It's created by filtering out "anti-tank" references from ACLED data notes and refining the information.
Click on a town to view ACLED's detailed notes on each documented incident.
At the biginning of the war a map showing where did the ground forces arrived was enlightning, but now it is less relevant.
Consider clicking below to hide it, and concentrate on the number of battles and air strikes in each Gaza region, instead.
This map delineates the areas in Gaza currently under Hamas control and highlights the zones where Israeli ground operations are actively ongoing.
You can open it on using this link.
Or inline but using this switch:
Here are some snapshots of the ground operation map in different dates.
You can find these maps and zoom in on each of them, through the link above.
all are made by war mapper (twitter.com/War_Mapper)
Note that the difference between Dec 31th and Jan 11th may be misleading, as main combat operations in the north of the Gaza Strip have come to an end, with the focus shifting to central and southern Gaza.
Just checking out where the IDF's been doesn't give you the full picture, not by a long shot.
So, you might wanna peek at this map over here that's supposed to show where each force is hanging out.
These maps? Yeah, they only scratch the surface. To dig deeper, we can dive into some analysis I pulled from ACLED data. It claims to cover the nitty-gritty on battles, air strikes, and the toll they've taken in Gaza.
Moreover, if you go to the other fronts section, and choose attacks on Gaza, you can click either the map or the plot to see the list of ACLED ntoes on these events.
Since the end of December 2023, there has been a significant decrease in both the number of battles and air strikes in North Gaza and Gaza City.
However, this trend is not observed in southern Gaza.
Additionally, since the *beginning* of December (just after the ceasefire), there has been a notable decline in the number of air strikes and related fatalities (with the majority of the fatalities resulting from air strikes).
How much of the Hamas military forces are destroyed?
According to Doron Kadosh The IDF announced Jan. 6th on the disbandment of all 12 Hamas battalions in the northern Gaza Strip - half of Hamas' military strength in Gaza.
From his description it seems that in the north it is estimated that 60% of the Hamas military strength was destroyed, and all in total < 40%.
This probably means that the IDF is not planning to destroy all of Hamas' military strength, but only to weaken it significantly, or that we are expecting a very long war.
Furthermore, a Wall Street Jornal report from Jan. 21th, 2024, states that Israeli forces have killed 20% to 30% of Hamas’s fighters, U.S. intelligence agencies estimate, a toll that falls short so far of Israel’s goal of destroying the group and shows its resilience after months of war that have laid swaths of the Gaza Strip to ruin.
If that's anywhere near the truth, it means that the IDF is still far from effectively destroying all of Hamas' military strength.
Quating from the report: "Biden administration officials have begun to scale down their expectations for the war, to Hamas’s degradation as a security threat from its utter destruction.
And the U.S. has urged Israel to shift the war toward more targeted operations aimed at Hamas’s leadership.
Though Hamas has suffered thousands of casualties, according to U.S. and Israeli assessments, it aims simply to survive this conflict, current and former Israeli military officials said.
“You don’t have to win, you just have to not lose,” a senior Israeli military official said of Hamas’s goal. "
In addition to the war in Gaza, Israel is being attacked from other regions.
Currently Hezbollah from Lebanon is the major front.
In addition, there are some attacks from Syria and Yemen, and even Iraq.
Israel is attacking targets in those fronts, too.
A focus on Hezbollah's use of anti-tank missles as a weapon against people and infrastructure was already presented.
We'll now explore some other fronts.
Note you can also look at anti-tank missiles from Lebanon (against buildings and people), in the previous sections.
Currently the death-toll of Oct. 7th is more dominant than the accumulated death-toll that followed.
However, from October 8th onwards, the IDF has experienced a significant and continuous increase in casualties.
Other than ultra-orthodox and Israeli Arabs, groups that generally do not currently contribute to Israel's military efforts - the soldgiers that sacrificed their lives for the nation come from almost every town and political view.
Regarding the impact in Gaza, the primary concern for Israeli citizens remains safety and prevention of future incidents like the October 7th Massacre.
This perspective is not about seeking revenge or territorial expansion but about ensuring lasting safety.
It is crucial to understand the ramifications in Gaza, not as a means of comparing casualty numbers, but to grasp the full scope of the tragedy unfolding.
Is there a way to ensure safety in Israel that will not involve so much human suffering itself?
Here are a few charts that show reported damages in Gaza. Again - not for proportionality. To better understand the tragedy.
It should be noted that Hamas own reporting, as a major party in the conflict, has its own interests and perspectives, which could influence the numbers reported. And that they easily lie.
This doesn't automatically imply that the data is always and completely incorrect, but it raises questions about potential biases.
In addition, there are verification challenges. In conflict zones, especially in dense urban areas like Gaza, verifying casualty and damage figures is extremely challenging.
Exploring public opinion on the war in different countries can be quite challenging, but Google Trends offers an insightful approach.
By examining the search trends over time for "Stand with Israel" versus "From the River to the Sea" in various countries, we can begin to understand the prevailing sentiments towards the conflict.
It looks like the data is telling us a couple of things:
1. People's interest in the war is on the decline.
2. The Palestinian narrative seems to be gaining more traction than the Israeli one, even in countries that initially showed strong support for Israel.
Over time, it appears that the public opinion is increasingly leaning towards the Palestinian side of the story.
More on public opinion can be viewed through demonstrations around the world.
The following chart shows the number of demonstrations in different countries, with sentiment that is either Pro-Israel or Pro-Palestine.
This chart also tells us that people's interest in the war is on the decline, and that the Palestinian narrative is the dominant one.
In fact, the number of pro-Israel demonstrations has declined to practically zero, while the number of pro-Palestinian demonstrations has remained considerably high.