Sun 10 Dec 2023 6:13 pm - Jerusalem Time
Israeli analysis: Resistance in Gaza is fighting vigorously, and the duration of war is shortening
“On the battlefield, the army is constantly astonished every day by the extent of the increasing strength of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The dangers in Beit Hanoun are endless, and the army has overtaken the Hamas brigades in Deir al-Balah, al-Bureij, and al-Nuseirat without engaging in battles with them.”
The Israeli security apparatus now admits that it will not be able to achieve the “goals of the war” on Gaza, and that the resistance forces in the Gaza Strip are forcefully fighting the Israeli forces invading the ground, in the remaining time of the war whose end may be determined by the United States, according to analysts in the Israeli newspapers today, Sunday.
Yedioth Ahronoth's military correspondent, Yoav Zeitoun, who joins the ground forces in the Gaza Strip from time to time, pointed out that the armored and infantry forces of the 98th Military Division, who advanced towards Khan Yunis at the beginning of last week, are discovering that the field situation is different from Speeches by military officials about “Hamas is disintegrating.”
He added that the resistance forces "launch attacks in places where the Israeli army has been fighting for a month and a half. The army also bypassed the Hamas brigades in Deir al-Balah, al-Bureij and al-Nuseirat" without engaging in battles with them, and that there is a Hamas brigade in Deir al-Balah and it continues to fire rockets toward the center of Israel and the Beersheba region.
Zaytoun quoted sources in the Israeli army as saying, “There are indications that Hamas is collapsing, but more time is needed,” and Defense Minister Yoav Galant, saying, “Hamas appears to be disintegrating.”
He pointed out that these statements are “general, vague terms, and come within the framework of preparing for the battle over the general narrative in Israel, for the winter day in which thousands of Israeli army soldiers from the Gaza Strip will return later to limited invasions throughout the year 2024, which will all be of a war nature. And of course This is all if a political agreement is not reached before that, allowing the transfer of control to a party other than Hamas.”
Zaytoun pointed out that on the battlefield, “the army is constantly amazed every day by the extent of the increase in Hamas’ strength in the Gaza Strip,” and it has become a real army “established 50 kilometers from Tel Aviv in the last 14 years, and in its possession are hundreds of thousands of weapons, starting with Anti-armor shells of various types, which constitute the primary weapon for targeting soldiers, as well as advanced platforms for launching rocket shells, explosive drones, and attack drones, which were made as a copy of the Israeli army’s Sky Rider drones, which fell in the Gaza Strip in the last decade.”
He added that Hamas also has "Kalashnikovs, Dragunov sniper rifles, communications devices, a military telephone system, explosive devices with official specifications of various sizes, and these are weapons that the Israeli army stopped counting a long time ago and endless quantities of combat means and military capabilities."
While the Israeli army claims that it controls the northern Gaza Strip, Zaytoun stated that “the dangers in Beit Hanoun do not end,” as fierce fighting continues with “local cells, and Beit Hanoun alone could indicate that clearing it of the enemy will take months, and this is a place that does not exist.” "It has the strongest forces in Hamas."
Zaytoun quoted a senior officer in the Golani Brigade as saying that Hamas had deployed “its strongest brigades” in the Shuja’iya neighborhood, and that the fighters “who were born in this neighborhood are attached to it and will not flee as happened in other places. In fact, we will need half a year to completely cleanse Shuja’iya resistance fighters and weapons.”
According to him, the Israeli ground operation in Khan Yunis “is only at its beginning. This is a very large city and was inhabited by a million people before the war, in addition to a million displaced people from the north who are crowded in the suburbs. While (the Israelis) are speaking about ‘eliminating Hamas,’ we have dismantled the terrorist army.” 'We defeated Sinwar' is rising on the horizon. It is worth remembering that Hamas intentionally keeps most of its fighters in the tunnels or tells them to escape, and that entire Hamas brigades, as in Deir al-Balah and in the Bureij and Nuseirat camps in the central Gaza Strip, were not reached by the ground incursion."
For his part, the military analyst in the newspaper "Haaretz", Amos Harel, considered that "perhaps it will be possible to extend the limits of American patience for several more weeks, after the beginning of next January, but it currently appears that it has not extended beyond that."
He added, "The period that has begun to shorten turns the current Israeli army attack into a more crucial attack for the future of the war. The military teams are now fighting three battles in parallel, and in all of them they are facing stronger resistance than in the past, and it seems because Hamas attaches great importance to defending its remaining resources, after many of them were attacked or occupied.
He continued, "A tension has arisen here between the goals of the war and the time that has been set to achieve them, if the Americans are actually standing with a stopwatch. The Israeli army hopes to end most of the operations in the northern Gaza Strip within a week, but this makes the battle in Khan Yunis more fateful. These developments make the fighting "In the coming weeks more complicated."
Harel pointed out that “Israel cannot control the severity of the (humanitarian) crisis in the Gaza Strip. Blood tests of some of the kidnapped persons who were freed upon their return to the country revealed indications of the presence of dangerous viruses, which appear to be the result of drinking water in the Gaza Strip. In addition to the shortage of Food and medicine, and massive overcrowding in hospitals, there are initial warning signs about the spread of serious diseases in the Strip.”