A report in The Washington Post on Tuesday said that although Israel says it has killed at least 5,000 Hamas terrorists, the terror group, which has an estimated 30,000 terrorists, remains largely intact.
The report, entitled Israel Has Vowed To Destroy Hamas. Yet The Group Remains Largely Intact, says that the IDF has not even entered some of Hamas’s key strongholds in the northern Gaza Strip.
“The deadliest battle may be ahead of us,” the report quoted Michael A. Horowitz, head of intelligence at risk consultancy Le Beck International. Horowitz said that he thinks that although Hamas has seemed to avoid direct confrontations until now, soon Hamas “are going to be cornered and they are going to have to fight.”
“Most likely there’s going to be some form of a lower-level counterinsurgency campaign for the coming months,” he said regarding the war’s continuation in the southern Gaza Strip.
An Israeli security official confirmed Horowitz’s assessment: “Our operations will be very different to how we’ve operated in Gaza City because it is much more overcrowded,” he said.
The report noted that despite the thousands of Hamas terrorists still alive and kicking, Israel’s main goal is to eliminate Hamas leaders, particularly Yehiya Sinwar, the Hamas chief in Gaza, whom Israel called “a dead man walking.”
“They are the ones who are their symbols; they’re the ones who have the authority to rule the Strip,” said Eyal Hulata, the head of Israel’s National Security Council until earlier this year. “So that’s the main operational goal at the moment, and they’ve all fled to the south, that’s very clear.”
Reports in Israel on Wednesday that IDF troops have surrounded Sinwar’s home in Khan Younis. However, Sinwar, who owns multiple homes, is in hiding and there is little chance he is in the building.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)