Israel intensifies its operations in central and southern Gaza as the death toll rises

A newspaper report revealedLofigaroThe French newspaper said that the military arm of the Hamas movement had been preparing for the October 7 attack on Israel “for two years and in complete secrecy,” noting that “only three or four people” were aware of the details of the plan.

The newspaper conducted interviews with a number of the movement’s leaders in Lebanon, Qatar, and Jordan, in addition to sources close to the leaders in Gaza, stating that the movement’s closest allies, such as Hezbollah and their main supporter Iran, “were not informed of the attack until just before its launch.”

In this regard, the newspaper reported that the leader of the Lebanese “Hezbollah”, Hassan Nasrallah, “was informed of Hamas’ plans to launch a multi-pronged attack on southern Israel, half an hour before the start of the attack on October 7.”

According to the report, senior Hamas leader Saleh Al-Arouri, who resides in Lebanon, received a phone call on the morning of October 7, informing him of the impending operation, and he was asked to inform the Hezbollah leader.

Le Figaro reported that the idea of ​​a ground invasion of Israel has been looming on the horizon for two years, and a source close to the Hamas leadership in Jordan confirms: “The first time I heard about it was in 2021.”

Other than the newspaper, it points out the conflict regarding the movement’s military leaders obtaining the approval of their political counterparts, most of whom are stationed abroad, noting that some say that the attack was agreed upon 3 months before it was launched, while other estimates indicate that Yahya Al-Sinwar decided with Muhammad. Deif, head of the movement’s military arm, organized the attack.

Commenting on this point, Khaled Meshaal, a leader in the political wing of the Hamas movement, told Le Figaro newspaper: “We cannot answer yes or no.”

According to him, “Hamas’s strategy, which aims to end the Israeli occupation and provide freedom for the Palestinians, falls within the movement’s policies, and all its operational details are entrusted to the military authorities” of the organization, which is classified on the terrorism lists of the United States and the European Union.

“Strategies for camouflage and performing Umrah”

The newspaper reported that Yahya Al-Sinwar and Muhammad Deif made “great camouflage” to avoid revealing their plans for the attack, noting, for example, that Al-Sinwar made sham changes in a number of leadership positions in the Al-Qassam Brigades, without actually changing the officials, with the aim of distracting the attention of the Israelis and camouflaging them. Concerning the real leaders of the military organization.

The newspaper quoted “Marwan”, whose identity was not revealed, and said that he was a senior figure from the Gaza Strip, who was connected to Yahya Al-Sinwar and was familiar with the internal details of the organization, saying that this camouflage strategy extended even to the head of power, pointing out that he was the real leader of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. “It is not Muhammad al-Deif, nor Marwan Issa, the second-in-command, but rather Muhammad al-Sanwar, Yahya’s brother.”

“Marwan” continues, speaking about the guest, saying, “He walks on a crutch, but his head is still working well, as he solves internal problems in the armed branch,” noting, “He is a respected figure within the organization, but the one who moves the brigades is Muhammad, the brother who is protected by Yahya.” .

About a month and a half before the operation, Hamas imposed secrecy on its main military commanders, ordering them to limit their contacts with each other.

Over the past six months, Marwan, who is not affiliated with Hamas, says he was surprised to notice that many young men, known for their sympathies with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, had gone to perform Umrah in Saudi Arabia.

Marwan adds: “I never saw them return after that. They went to train in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, or even in Syria.”

In the months preceding the operation, “Sinwar isolated himself from the political branch abroad, and barely answered phone calls from members of the movement,” the newspaper adds.

At the end of September, Musa Abu Marzouk, one of the leaders of this political wing residing in Qatar, was forced to wait several days before he could meet Sinwar in Gaza, and the meeting between the two men was stormy, as a Hamas source confirmed to the newspaper.

The report stated that Sinwar’s relations “were tense at times with his allies in Qatar,” based on the words of “Marwan” who said that “Sinwar does not trust the Qataris very much.”

The report quotes a source close to Hamas in Jordan. Before the war, “Israel had prevented money from Qatar from reaching Hamas,” and when a Qatari ambassador arrived in Gaza with “only 13 million dollars a month instead of the expected 30 million, Al-Sinwar told him:” Take the 13 and return with the other 17 as planned.”

The same source reported that “Sinwar is also losing his temper” with his allies in the “Axis of Resistance,” explaining that “at the end of October, during the first week of the Israeli ground operation in the northern Gaza Strip, the leader of the Sunni Islamic Movement conveyed a message to the Shiite Hezbollah asking… In it, he explained why he did not become more involved with Hamas.

Shortly after October 7, a Lebanese source close to the Shiite group says, “Confusion prevailed within Hezbollah, especially since the whole world was trying to find out whether Iran was behind the attack on Israel.”

On the one hand, Hezbollah and Tehran were accused of participating in planning it. On the other hand, “they were not satisfied with Hamas, because the cards they were scheduled to use in future operations against Israel had been blown by the Palestinians: penetration into Israel, air assets, and the element of surprise.”

“Hamas will not be destroyed”

During recent days, the Israeli army on Thursday intensified its raids and ground operations in central and southern Gaza, and the Israeli Army Chief of Staff, 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.”

In an opinion article published on Monday in the Wall Street Journal, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had published an article in the American newspaper “The Wall Street Journal” on Monday, in which he 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 West Bank.

On the other hand, Khaled Meshaal said, “After three months of bombing, our missiles are still reaching Tel Aviv,” adding that “the Palestinian resistance is not worried,” as “from the beginning, Israel set for itself two goals: destroying Hamas and liberating the hostages. But today Israeli opinion asks: Are these goals realistic? We certainly have losses, but they did not have any impact on Hamas’ military capacity, nor on the ability of its leadership to carry out operations. Hamas will not be destroyed…”

Khaled Meshaal continues: “Under pressure from the families of the prisoners, Israel and the United States want a new truce, but the Hamas leadership refuses. Our conditions are clear: an end to the aggression, a permanent cessation of hostilities to allow the mutual release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian detainees, and a comprehensive process of negotiations on other fundamental issues.” “.

More than two months after the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas on October 7, the Gaza Strip is facing a severe humanitarian crisis after the widespread destruction it suffered as a result of the Israeli bombing, and about 85 percent of its population of 2.4 million people were forced to flee, according to the United Nations.

Israel tightened its siege on the Gaza Strip after the war, cutting off supplies of electricity, water, fuel, food and medicine. Over the past weeks, convoys of aid have entered the Gaza Strip, but international organizations confirm that they do not meet the needs of the population in the Palestinian Strip.

Israel vowed to “eliminate” Hamas after the unprecedented and violent attack launched by the movement on October 7, which resulted in 1,140 deaths, most of them civilians, including women and children, according to the latest Israeli official figures.

On that day, Hamas militants kidnapped about 250 people, 129 of whom are still detained in Gaza, according to Israel.

The Israeli bombing killed 21,110 people in the Gaza Strip, most of them women and children, according to the latest report issued by the Hamas Ministry of Health. 1.9 million people were forced to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.

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