The authorities of Israel have vowed that Gaza will never return to its former state and that Hamas will be eliminated from the face of the planet.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “We have set two goals for the war: to eliminate Hamas by destroying its military and governing capabilities and to do everything possible to bring our hostages at home,” as Israel increased its ground operations in Gaza.
The military is fighting “for our right and the right of future generations to live in safety and prosperity in our homeland,” according to Israel’s chief of staff, and Operation Swords of Iron was launched in response to the Hamas gunmen’s horrific attack on Israeli communities, which claimed the lives of over 1,400 people.
Israel’s objectives are considerably more expansive than anything the military has previously organized in Gaza and may take several months to complete. However, are they feasible, and how can its leaders possibly accomplish them?
Over two million civilians are at great risk while entering the Gaza Strip, where there is house-to-house urban combat. More than 8,700 Palestinians have already died, according to Gaza officials under Hamas, and hundreds of thousands more have left their homes.
The additional mission for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is to free 239 captives who are being held in secret places around Gaza.
As a product of radical Islam, I don’t think Israel can destroy every member of Hamas, says military expert Amir Bar Shalom of Israel’s Army Radio.
It may be more practical to aim for its weakening rather than its complete destruction. Israel and Hamas have already engaged in four conflicts, and all of the attempts to stop the latter’s missile assaults have failed.
The major objective, according to an IDF official, is for Hamas to lose its ability to “threaten or kill Israeli civilians” through its military capabilities.
The chairman of Tel Aviv University’s Palestinian Studies Forum, Michael Milstein, concurs that it would be extremely difficult to eradicate Hamas. According to him, it would be conceited to think that you could eradicate the ideology that underpins Hamas, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood that has impacted Islamist movements globally.
Apart from the more than 25,000 members of Hamas’s armed wing, the organization also counts between 80,000 and 90,000 members in its social welfare wing.