Hamas Defeat Not Feasible in Near Future – Israeli Officials Acknowledge Challenges

The Resistance eliminated seven soldiers west of Khan Yunis. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Hamas cannot be dismantled now. In the best case scenario, the report noted, it will be defeated in 2026 or 2027.

Following the Israeli army’s withdrawal from Khan Yunis, the Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas has regained control over the largest city in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday.

According to the paper, “as much as Israel insists on not bringing in thousands of Fatah operatives living in the Gaza Strip as a mechanism (…)  to replace Hamas’ rule, the months that pass make it even more difficult to meet the more modest goals of the war: the overthrow of Hamas’s civilian rule”.

The Israeli army is reportedly facing challenges in targeting Hamas’ internal security apparatus, which remains active in Gaza. 

The paper added that Hamas members are “enforcing the order and making sure that there are no price increases” in the local markets.

From a military perspective, the situation for Israel appears even more challenging. According to “veteran combat officers” cited in the report, Hamas cannot be dismantled now. In the best case scenario, the report noted, it will be defeated in 2026 or 2027.

The military officials reportedly stated that “we will not be permanently in the Strip. We will return to many raids deep in the territory.” The officials admitted that even the alleged “achievements of the forces that fought in Gaza are being eroded”.

Moreover, the Israeli military seems worried about the volatile situation in the occupied West Bank, especially if emblematic figures like Marwan Barghouti are released following a prisoner exchange deal between the Israeli government and Hamas. 

‘Palestinian Nelson Mandela’ – Who Is Marwan Barghouti?

Withdrawal from Khan Yunis

Israeli military spokespersons announced on Sunday the withdrawal of ground forces from the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported.

Israeli Army Radio reported that the 98th Division, comprising three brigades, withdrew from the Khan Yunis area after four months of conflict, with the Nahal Brigade remaining in the Netzarim Corridor to control movement between northern and southern Gaza.

“The 98th Division, with its three brigades, withdrew from Khan Younis last night after the end of the operation there after fighting that lasted four months,” the Army Radio reported.

‘Before Achieving Its Goals’ – Israel Withdraws 98th Division from Khan Yunis

The Israeli newspaper Maariv confirmed that only one brigade remains in Gaza to prevent Palestinians from returning northwards. 

Israeli Channel 12 stated the completion of operations in Khan Yunis.

“As of this stage of the maneuver, the Israeli army has completed its operation in Khan Yunis and soldiers have completed their exit from there,” the Israeli Channel 12 said.

It indicated that “the Israeli army will focus on the method of raids based on available intelligence information.”

‘Forced to Withdraw’

Al-Qassam Brigades announced in a statement that Israeli forces were forced to a premature withdrawal from various areas, due to successful operations carried out by the Palestinian Resistance. 

The military wing of the Hamas movement said that the occupation entered most areas of the Gaza Strip and destroyed them completely, praising that it had succeeded in dismantling the Brigades. 

The Khan Yunis Retreat – Resistance Roundup – Day 184

However, according to the statement, every time the Israeli army returned to areas that were supposedly under its control, it was surprised with qualitative resistance operations.

The Brigades added that the Israeli occupation army was forced to end its operations even before achieving its goals.

The announcement of the withdrawal from Khan Yunis comes after an operation carried out by the Al-Qassam Brigades on Saturday, which reportedly killed 14 Israeli soldiers and injured many more.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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