“Eliminating Hamas”… Israel’s goal between realism and “unachievable” promises

Over the past few days, Israeli statements have been repeated regarding the continuation of the war in the Gaza Strip until its goals are achieved, most notably “the elimination of Hamas,” noting that it may continue “for months,” which has raised controversy regarding the realism of achieving this goal, especially with the mounting voices demanding reaching an agreement. A new deal to recover more than 100 hostages still being held in the Palestinian Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published an article in the newspaper “Wall Street JournalThe American newspaper, on Monday, set “three preconditions” that are necessary to “achieve peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors in Gaza.”

The Israeli Prime Minister wrote in his article: “Hamas must be destroyed, Gaza must be disarmed, and extremism must be eradicated from Palestinian society.”

He added: “A temporary security zone must be established on the periphery of Gaza, and an inspection mechanism on the border between Gaza and Egypt, that meets Israel’s security needs and prevents the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip.”

Netanyahu confirmed his refusal to assign future management of the Strip to the Palestinian Authority, which he accused of “financing and glorifying terrorism” in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli Prime Minister reiterated that “in the near future, Israel must retain primary responsibility for security in Gaza,” the Strip from which it unilaterally withdrew in 2005 after occupying it for 38 years.

For his part, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, General Herzi Halevy, said on Tuesday that “the war will last for many months,” pointing out that Israel “will follow various methods in order to ensure that the achievement lasts a long time.”

He continued: “The IDF is about to complete the dismantling of the Hamas brigades in the northern Gaza Strip… and we will also reach the Hamas leadership, whether that takes a week or months.”

“Merger or Termination”

Commenting on the reality of eliminating a radical movement in the Gaza Strip, especially after it took control of it in 2007, the Israeli researcher, Eddie Cohen, said in statements to the “Al-Hurra” website, that “the lessons of history teach us that any terrorist group has two options, not a third.” Either integrate into real political work away from extremism and violence, or eliminate it completely and finally, as happened with ISIS and Al-Qaeda.”

He continued: “Also, the Palestine Liberation Organization was terrorist before the Oslo Accords were reached on September 13, 1993, which were signed by the late President of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, and the late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, which led to self-rule for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and areas of the West Bank.” “.

Cohen stressed that “the PLO later turned into a national authority, which may one day lead to the emergence of an independent Palestinian state.”

As for the leftist Israeli analyst, Yoav Stern, he explained in a call with the “Al-Hurra” website: “The Israeli army must take the battles in the coming days or weeks to another level, so as not to endanger the lives of civilians or soldiers, especially since it is waging a guerrilla war with armed militias.” “.

He stressed that “the overpopulation in the Gaza Strip makes the army’s mission difficult, and therefore it must advance and retreat according to the developments of the battle.”

“Eliminate the armed wing”

On the other hand, some military experts believe that “it is possible to eliminate the armed wing of the Hamas movement (Al-Qassam Brigades).”

In this regard, the Director General of the International Counter-Terrorism Institute, retired Israeli Colonel, Miri Eisin, said in statements to the network:CNBCThe American: “Yes, the military part can be cancelled, meaning that you can systematically destroy weapons, armament, production sites, above-ground and underground sites… It may take a long time, but it can be achieved.”

The director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute, Richard Weitz, agrees with the above opinion, who said in a previous interview with: Alhurra channel“Hamas militants are exploiting the advantage of the tunnels, but as the fuel runs out, they will not be able to obtain lighting and good ventilation, and therefore they will be forced to emerge from underground, and then they can be eliminated.”

For his part, Cohen considered that “eliminating this extremist group is possible, but it will not happen overnight.” He added: “Hamas has become a statelet that has tunnels, vehicles, gunmen, huge sums of money, and a large amount of weapons. However, the Israeli army is eroding its strength and capabilities every day.”

He added: “To be precise, I am talking about a few months, not years, to achieve this goal, if the Israeli leadership does not change its mind on this matter.”

When asked about the options in the event that it is not possible to “eliminate Hamas,” he replied: “Unfortunately, then it will grow and expand like a huge snake, and rockets will continue to be fired toward Israeli cities and towns, attacks inside the country, and other forms of terrorism, and therefore, after all these sacrifices.” In the souls.”

He continued: “I firmly believe that we have no choice but to destroy that movement, or for it to turn to peaceful political action.”

“Unachievable goals”

But the chief researcher at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, Hussein Ibish, believes that eliminating the Palestinian movement is “unrealistic,” explaining in his interview with the American network CNBC: “Hamas is not a group of individuals, or a group of equipment and structure.” “Infrastructure. It’s a brand, and as long as there is a group of living Palestinians who want to call themselves Hamas, that group will continue to exist.”

He added: “It is extremely stupid to announce goals that cannot be achieved, but this is what Israel did, and unless its government begins to soften its language regarding the goals of the war, it will fail… because it has set for itself goals that are not achievable.”

Ibish considered that “insisting on the above makes Hamas write its victory thanks to such Israeli statements.”

In the same context, Stern believed that “to completely eliminate Hamas is not possible,” adding: “It is possible to weaken its strength, but in the end it is not possible to distinguish between those who support that movement or those who oppose it.”

He stressed that “Netanyahu will not agree to end the war now, because that would mean the immediate end of his political future, and this means that the war of attrition may continue for a long time, because Hamas refused to reach a new temporary truce as proposed by Egypt and other countries.”

He continued: “According to what we hear from the political and military leaders, we will continue fighting indefinitely, that is, the matter may extend for years, and therefore it will be a war of attrition.”

According to an analysis published by the newspaperThe New York TimesThe American newspaper, on Wednesday, said that since its first appearance in 1987, Hamas “has survived repeated attempts to eliminate its leadership.”

The newspaper quoted political experts as saying, “The structure of this movement was designed to accommodate such emergency situations and continuous attempts to eliminate it.”

The Israeli army said this week that it had “killed about 8,000 Hamas fighters, out of the movement’s total, which is estimated at between 25,000 and 40,000,” according to the American newspaper.

The Israeli army stated that “about 500 militants surrendered to it,” although Hamas denied that all of them were from its ranks.

Regarding the “solution” to this crisis, retired Israeli Colonel Eisin responded by saying: “In conjunction with the defeat of Hamas, we must let the people in Gaza choose the future they want, and to be clear enough, if the future they want is Hamas’ desire to destroy… “Israel, we will isolate and marginalize them, and make sure that they cannot reach us.”

On the other hand, the chief Palestinian analyst at the International Crisis Group, Tahani Mustafa, confirmed to the New York Times that “without a comprehensive solution, Israel will continue to deal with a form of Hamas.”

“To assume that you can simply uproot an organization like this is a fantasy,” she added.

It is noteworthy that Al-Hurra website tried to contact the Israeli army spokesman, Avichay Adraee, to ask him about the latest developments regarding what was achieved regarding the goal of destroying Hamas’ capabilities, but it was not possible to obtain a response until the date of the report’s publication.

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