February 27, 2024

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In the devastated Gaza Strip, despite the Israeli military's actions, Hamas persists

In the devastated Gaza Strip, despite the Israeli military's actions, Hamas persists

A few weeks later they reappeared. Hamas fighters forced the Israeli army to redeploy two brigades to al-Shadi refugee camp on January 28. These soldiers chase them through these miserable alleys in Gaza, which has been largely destroyed by the Air Force since October 2023. The army has ordered residents to evacuate the ruins of the surrounding neighborhoods – Sheikh Ratwan, Rimal, Tal al-Hawa. He had to clear a vast area of ​​12 square kilometers and conduct his battles there.

Read the survey | The article is reserved for our subscribers Another threat to Gaza: polluted soil and air, contaminated water

In the west of the metropolis, an area captured by Israel in November 2023, Hamas al-Qassam militias are resuming a smaller, largely autonomous war far from their leaders. The Palestinian side has claimed responsibility for rocket and mortar attacks on Jabalia, Sheikh Ratwan and the south of the city since mid-January, as well as rocket fire toward Israel in the north.

The resurgence of Islamist militants contradicts Israeli officials' diagnosis of a late 2023 deadline. “cleaned” Eliminated all Hamas factions in these neighborhoods and Gaza City. They assumed that“After the War” It started in the city. The Israeli military hierarchy sent almost all reservists home, maintaining only one division in the north of the enclave. The top brass planned to carry out only targeted attacks there, while the second division searched for key Hamas leaders and their hostages in the south of the territory, supported by intensive bombing.

“It was a moral and military failure”

“In the last 120 days Israel has deployed four divisions with the objective of destroying Hamas and forcibly releasing hostages. Both these objectives were not achieved. Despite its scorched-earth policy, which left nearly 27,000 dead and tens of thousands injured, Hamas and the opposition [les autres factions palestiniennes] Still standing, they fight. It was a moral, military and intelligence defeat for Israel.General Wasseb Ereghat, a veteran of the Palestine Liberation Organization, is currently an analyst in Ramallah.

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Hamas cannot win over the ruins of Gaza and the lives of two million Palestinians. But he fights this battle with an advantage: “He doesn't have to do much to win, he just has to survive”, underscores Tahani Mustafa, an analyst at the International Crisis Group. The Israeli military itself has been signaling this since mid-January: its campaign is ending. The blows she could deal with were now innumerable. 136 hostages held in Gaza could not be freed. Of those, approximately thirty were given to dead, imprisoned or victims of Israeli bombs.

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