The Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, in the wake of an unprecedented blitzkrieg on October 7 by Hamas that took Israel’s intelligence apparatus off guard, has left a trail of death and destruction in the coastal enclave but has failed to achieve the declared goal of eliminating the Palestinian resistance movement.
Hamas is believed to have around 30,000 fighters, and a fresh US intelligence estimate, reported by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, indicates that only 20% to 30% of them have been killed since Israel unleashed its massive air and ground campaign on Gaza.
The percentages mean that civilians, whom Israel considers as “collateral damage,” make up the majority of the fatalities in the densely populated territory – between 16,000 to 19,000 – and that the bulk of Hamas forces are still fighting Israel’s disproportionate military action.
More than three and a half months into the bloody war, the Israeli army, equipped with modern weaponry, is facing fierce resistance put up by Hamas fighters across the Gaza Strip, slowing the advances of the invading soldiers with simple arms.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under immense fire domestically, seems to be pressing ahead with his war agenda to save his own political life. Netanyahu is well aware that an end to the devastating war could spell the end of his own career and thus disaster for him. Therefore, he keeps resisting any peace initiative, though the key objective of the military offensive – annihilating Hamas – remains extremely farfetched and sounds like a pipedream.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday that Israel’s plan to take out Hamas in Gaza was not working, noting what Tel Aviv was doing in Gaza would “seal the hate for generations.”
The aggression has killed more than 25,000 Palestinians, leveled many buildings, and left most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people homeless. And Israel has said it will continue the war until Hamas is eradicated.
Israel’s warmonger prime minister is unaware of the fact that a deep-rooted ideology cannot be crushed. Hamas has an ideology supported by many in the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank, and even beyond Palestinian territories. The more Israel kills in Gaza, the more grudge is nursed by those who lose a loved one. These Palestinians could be potential recruits, joining the ranks of the resistance movement to take up arms against Israel for revenge and fight for the liberation of their homeland.