Middle east

Israeli Military Expert: Hamas far from surrender and collapse 

Despite Israeli forces escalating their bombardment to eliminate the Hamas movement, Israeli military expert Amos Harel dismissed the easy defeat of the Hamas movement, about 37 days into the war taking place in the Gaza Strip.

Harel mentioned in an analysis for the Hebrew newspaper ‘Haaretz’ that Israel declared war on the Gaza Strip on October 7, under serious negligence stemming from a grave failure in alertness and intelligence. He pointed out that 1200 Israelis were killed, and 240 individuals were kidnapped before the Israeli army assembled and launched an attack. In reference to the Israeli army‘s failure, Harel stated: ‘Everything that has been and will be done since then has become a desperate attempt to pursue an enemy who has already ignited the fire and is rapidly advancing,’ as reported by the Turkish newspaper ‘Zaman.’

Harel emphasized that Israel waited 3 weeks to launch a ground attack, indicating that the reason behind the coinciding land attacks with long-term intense aerial bombings is that ‘Hamas members preferred to stay in the tunnels and avoid direct conflict.’

The Israeli analyst asserted that ‘the Israeli army incurred losses when Hamas targeted Israeli forces, which were in a stable condition, or when Israeli forces attacked significant Hamas facilities, which had intensive defensive measures around them.’

Harel stressed that the challenges faced by the Israeli army in the field are ‘the complex tunnel networks in Gaza and the towering buildings that are still standing, although many of them were destroyed in Israeli attacks.’

The Israeli analyst stated that ‘Hamas is in a difficult position but far from collapsing,’ adding that ‘victory in a war occurs when one of the parties surrenders, or operations cease due to the collapse of their systems. Hamas seems far from that at present.’

Regarding Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in Gaza, whom the Israeli army is seeking to reach, Harel said: ‘It would be a big mistake to believe that he will surrender due to the difficulties he faces or that he will be deterred due to the pressure.’ He mentioned that after the small operations carried out by the Israeli army before, ‘statements indicating Hamas‘s weakening or deterrence will not be believed by anyone from now on.’

Harel argued that Hamas suffered significant damage in northern Gaza and emphasized that ‘surrender is not on the horizon.’

He pointed out that the primary goal of the war in Gaza, as stated by the Israeli army, is ‘the collapse of Hamas‘s military strength and the infrastructure it manages,’ and commented, saying: ‘But the official objectives are also ambitions.’

The war between Israel and the Hamas movement entered its second month, amidst ongoing Israeli bombardment in various areas of the Gaza Strip in response to the unprecedented attack launched by the movement on October 7.

The Israeli bombardment has resulted in thousands of deaths, with the healthcare system collapsing and difficulties in extracting victims from beneath the rubble.

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