Hamas leaders (Reuters)

An Israeli military analyst predicted that the remaining days of the temporary ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, which is likely to be extended by more than 4 days, will be nerve-racking and in the interest of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

Ron Ben-Yishai, a veteran war correspondent and military analyst, claimed that Hamas's goal was to hurt Israelis and stoke division among them, but said that was not its main goal.

In an article published by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth on its website, he explained that Hamas seeks - in the first place - to extend the ceasefire for as long as possible until it becomes a permanent one.

Two strategic features

Ben-Yishai added that Hamas hopes to extend the ceasefire in order to achieve two important strategic advantages: the first is its continued rule of the Gaza Strip if Israel does not continue the war and fails to control all the hotbeds of "terrorism," as it calls it.

If that happens, Israel will not reach its most important goal of the war, which is to undermine Hamas's military and civilian control over the Strip.

The second advantage that Hamas is working to achieve with its "Iranian sponsors and Lebanese Hezbollah" is the "declaration of victory" in the war against the Israeli army, "which began on October 7 and ended without Hamas and Islamic Jihad defeating." If the ceasefire that began on Friday becomes permanent, that claim would be permissible, Yishai said.

A blow to its deterrence capability

Israel's deterrence capability would take a heavy blow that could be seen as an existential threat if Hamas wins the war.

Ben-Yishai stresses that the Hamas leadership has no interest in violating the ceasefire agreement, but does not control all its activities in the northern Gaza Strip.

However, ceasefire violations are expected from time to time, and it is very likely that Hamas will not initiate them, but they may be caused by "local agents currently hiding in tunnels who are unaware of the agreement," or find themselves "by chance" in confrontation with the IDF.

No need to rush

The military analyst sees no need for an urgent resumption of fighting due to local violations, as "the fate of (Israeli) prisoners is the most important," except in the event of major violations, such as rocket fire into Israel. Then there will be a need to reconsider the resumption of fighting, he said.

What happens if Hamas announces its willingness to negotiate the fate of the 120 young men and women it is holding and demands a longer extension of the ceasefire would be a major dilemma for the State of Israel, according to the Yedioth Ahronoth article.

Source: Yedioth Ahronoth