A report published by the American newspaper “The New York Times” says that Israel is making progress in ground control of… GazaBut it did not defeat the Islamic Resistance Movement (agitation) or release most of the hostages, and international condemnation of civilian casualties is growing.
The report focuses on answering whether the Israeli military strategy will succeed in eliminating Hamas, noting that so far it is not clear that this strategy will succeed.
The report explained that the Israeli army’s seizure of Al-Shifa HospitalThe largest medical complex in Gaza, it is considered pivotal to the Israeli military strategy at the heart of the ground invasion, which aims to eliminate Hamas and release approximately 240 prisoners.
“Healing” is the first test
The report added that Israel has long accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields in the densely populated Gaza Strip, and claimed that the movement has placed underground military facilities near homes, schools, mosques and hospitals throughout Gaza.
The Shifa compound became the first test in this narrative, as the Israeli army claimed that Hamas used a vast maze of… Tunnels Under the hospital as a base, but the IDF has not yet provided public evidence of the existence of this network nor of the alleged Hamas command center under Shifa, and Israel is under increasing international pressure to show that the hospital was a decisive military target.
Israeli military officials said last Friday that inspecting the hospital would take some time due to the risk of encountering Hamas members and explosive traps, and that they would have to use dogs and combat engineers.
According to three Israeli officers, Israeli forces are currently advancing slowly and are currently controlling only part of the hospital site, and are also avoiding entering a vertical corridor that was discovered there.
The army claims it already has evidence of at least part of a tunnel under the hospital. A video, which an Israeli official said was filmed by a camera lowered into the vertical corridor by forces on Friday and reviewed by The New York Times, suggests it is a man-made tunnel, with at least one corridor wide enough for people to pass through.
The tunnel appears to be 50 feet or more long, and at its end is a door that the official said was fortified to withstand explosives. The video shows that the door contains a small hatch that, according to the Israeli official, allows firing in one direction from the other side of the door inside the tunnel.
Although the Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant He said – in a video statement – that Israel “accelerated its activities against the tunnels,” and that Hamas fighters lost control in the north and fled south. Military analysts said that Gallant’s statements raised many questions.
Difficulties in eliminating Hamas
Military analysts wonder how to eliminate Hamas if its fighters blend in with the rest of the population as they head south, and how long Israel can continue to fire in light of increasing international pressure to stop it and mounting civilian casualties in Gaza.
American military officials said that their Israeli counterparts are asking them to expect more weeks of “clearance” operations in the north before Israel prepares a separate initiative in southern Gaza, expanding the scope of the attack.
An Israeli official says that while Hamas leaders may have been under Shifa Hospital at the beginning of the war, most of them have now been evacuated to the south, and therefore, Israel will have to evacuate civilians and target Hamas brigades there in the coming weeks and months, and the Israeli official expected this matter to be complicated. Because the international community has lost its patience with Israel.
General Kenneth McKenzie Jr., retired commander of the US Army’s Central Command, said that it is still unclear how many senior Hamas leaders were killed by the Israeli army, even after parts of Gaza were turned into rubble and more than a thousand Hamas fighters were killed.
Meanwhile, the New York Times says the longer the war drags on, the greater the pressure on the Israeli economy, with 360,000 military reservists withdrawing from their civilian jobs to fight. General McKenzie said, “Time is not on Israel’s side, internationally or locally.”
Officials and analysts said that this puts pressure on the Israeli army to inflict as much damage as possible on Hamas as quickly as possible.