Former parade of members of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing (Reuters)
Israeli military analyst Yoav Zeitoun said on Sunday that their army is aware that the destruction of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Gaza Strip will not take place within a few months, given its preparations over the past years, stressing that the army is surprised by the strength and armament of the movement, as he put it.
Zeitoun, in an analysis published by the Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, updated an implicit US deadline for Israel to end the war at the end of December or until the end of January, if all goes well, without a shocking event that stops the momentum.
Israeli officials insist the war continues, hoping to end Hamas's continued rule over Gaza since the summer of 2007 and eliminate the military capabilities of the group, which has been resisting Israel's decades-long occupation of Palestine.
Zeitoun added on the ground, the army is amazed every day at how strong Hamas is, a real army that has been established 50 minutes from Tel Aviv over the past years.
Highlighting Hamas' capabilities in confronting the IDF, Zeitoun said that "they have hundreds of thousands of weapons, including RPGs of various kinds, which are their main weapon."
They also have advanced rocket launchers, explosive drones, and attack drones produced as a version of the IDF's Sky Rider drone, which crashed in the Gaza Strip in the past decade.
According to Zeitoun, Hamas operatives also have machine guns, Kalashnikov rifles, Dragunov sniper rifles, advanced communication devices, IEDs of various standards and sizes, and countless quantities of weapons and military capabilities.
Regarding the incursion into the northern Gaza Strip, Zeitoun said that the fierce battles in Beit Hanoun could indicate that "clearing Gaza from the enemy will take many months, and this is not a place where the strongest Hamas forces are located."
Regarding Shujaiya east of Gaza City, Zeitoun quoted a senior officer in the Golani Elite Brigade as saying that Hamas has placed its strongest battalion there, and the militants born and raised in the neighborhood are linked to it and will not flee, and that in practice, the army will need about 6 months to "cleanse" Shujaiya completely, he said.
Since October 27, Israel began a ground incursion into the northern Gaza Strip, which later spread to the south, amid fierce resistance from Hamas and other Palestinian factions that cost the Israeli army dozens of deaths and injuries.
Since October 7, the Israeli army has been waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip, which has left 17,700 martyrs and 48,780 wounded, most of them children and women, massive destruction of infrastructure, and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, according to official Palestinian and UN sources.
In response to daily Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people and their holy sites, Hamas launched on October 7 the Al-Aqsa flood offensive against Israeli settlements and military bases in the Gaza area.
In its attack, Hamas killed about 1200,5431 Israelis, wounded about 239,7, and captured about 7800 of them, dozens of whom exchanged, during a <>-day humanitarian truce until the first of December, with Israel, which holds in its prisons <>,<> Palestinians, including children and women.
Source : Anadolu Agency