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150 days of war: Achievements and possibilities

IDF in Gaza

150 days after the outbreak of the war, Israel and Hamas are standing in a completely different place from where we started on October 7. Over 30 thousand Gazans were killed, including at least 12 thousand terrorists and Hamas operatives, who constitute about 30% of the organization’s total manpower. Of course, the manpower has also been reduced due to injuries, defections, and imprisonment by the IDF. 3 of the Hamas divisions were completely defeated, and one was partially (out of five); so were most of the battalions and companies, which lost their chain of command, most of the infrastructure above and below the ground, and the advanced war equipment. Hamas has almost run out of rockets and mortar shells, and the shooting has become very spacious and sporadic; Hamas’s ability to effectively threaten IDF soldiers and residents of the surrounding area has declined. There is still a long way to go to the war goal, the destruction of all Hamas military capabilities and the removal of the threat from the Gaza Strip over a long period of time; but there is no doubt that the IDF is on its way there.

Most of the reserve soldiers have already been released, IDF losses are decreasing in the Gaza Strip, and it was possible to think that the war was becoming routine. But of course, it is impossible to imagine a routine as long as the remaining 134 hostages are still held in the Strip. In recent days, negotiations between Israel and Hamas for the return of the hostages have reached an explosion, mainly due to Hamas’s inability to compromise, and its unwillingness to provide a simple list containing information about the situation of each abducted person (alive/injured/dead). This also provokes American disapproval, because in the absence of a deal (which will include a temporary ceasefire), the war is expected to slide into the religious month of Ramadan, and perhaps fuel additional anger in the Arab world – inside Israel, Judea and Samaria, and perhaps even in moderate countries; According to recent indications, refueling such as this may be exactly what Hamas wants and seeks, in the hope of an escape ticket from its fate to be destroyed in the Gaza Strip.

The fog of war is very thick, and the future is not at all clear. Israel will strive to achieve its goals, if they do not contradict each other. The outbreak of war in the north may have a fundamental effect on the southern front, but the Gaza Strip may not be affected at all. It is difficult to know and appreciate exactly how and how things will turn out. What is certain, is that so far we have made significant progress in our goals – most of Hamas has been destroyed, and most of the (living) abducted Israelis have returned to Israel. We will continue to work until the final victory. As the Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov said at the beginning of the war against the Germans: “Our goal is just. The enemy will be destroyed. The victory will be ours.”

To respond – rxpuyhi@gmail.com

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