It's 45 days into the war, and Hamas shows the first signs of breaking. Despite the escalation on the northern border, the chorus of condemnations from Arab countries and Houthi drones in Yemen, those close to the terrorist movement admit that it is left alone, and the situation is difficult. A third of the military high command and half of the political leadership in Gaza were eliminated, attacked or fled. The battalions have also taken a hit, and the sand fortress of Gaza City is crumbling – neighborhood after neighborhood, camp after camp.
The plan was different: the 3,000 terrorists who invaded Israel on 7 October tried to take control of bases and strategic targets in the Negev. They expected a surprise attack from the north. Senior Hamas figure Salah Arouri previously called it a "regional war." Yahya Sinwar, who was delighted by the division in Israeli society, saw this as an opportune time, the end of days. He largely estimated that there would also be "help from within," as in Guardian of the Walls. This attack was halted. It was stopped by the alert squads, by the police, by soldiers at the borders and bases, by the civilians. It was stopped, but the price was heavy.
Attack in Gaza, photo: AP
Despite the escalation in the north, more than 40 days have passed, and Hezbollah has not fully entered the war. A commentator close to Nasrallah explained that they acted "judiciously," while Hamas acted out of "lack of choice." This fact raises the suspicion of a lack of coordination between the terrorist organizations, which tried to demonstrate a united front. The goal of "emptying the prisons" in Israel is also off the table. On the contrary, since the beginning of the war, more than 2,000 prisoners and prisoners have been added. "Help from within" did not arrive.
Now the terrorist organization is already in Corrales for slaughter. Paradoxically, it was Sinwar who almost closed the last escape slit: a deal to release hostages that would bring about a ceasefire and an opportunity for escape. It seems that the conclusions of the Shalit deal disrupted his mind. He was not the only Hamas member who fell into misconceptions and assessments this time.
The fall of cronies
Before the ground maneuver, Arouri, who is based in Beirut, stated that it was a "best-case scenario." In practice, since entering the Gaza Strip, Israel has posed a tangible threat to the Hamas regime and improved its intelligence capabilities thanks to dozens of captured Hamas prisoners.
Last week's attack on the two underground compounds where senior Hamas figures were staying may have been an example. Three of Sinwar's associates were in one compound: Rawhi Mushtaha, in charge of the prisoners and martyrs' portfolio, Issam Da'alis, the shadow prime minister, and Samah Sarraj, in charge of the offensive cyber unit. Besides them, four other members of the Gaza Strip's political bureau, which served as the de facto government of the Gaza Strip, have already been killed.
Senior figures in Hamas' military-terrorist wing, photo: Arab networks
On Friday, the chairman of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Ahmed Bahar, the "21st member" of the Hamas regime, was also assassinated. Two of the bureau members are in Qatar and Lebanon: Khalil al-Haya, Sinwar's deputy, and Raji Hamad. In other words, about half of the members of the local government of the terrorist organization were eliminated, neutralized and fled in advance.
The military wing also suffered significant damage. Out of the nine heads of the military wing, two brigade commanders and the head of the rocket division were neutralized. The brigade commander from the central camp, Ayman Nofal, was eliminated on 17 October. Last week, the commander of the northern Gaza Strip Brigade, Ahmad Ghandour, and the head of the rocket division, Ayman Siyam, were attacked.
Those who remain are Gaza City brigade commander Izz ad-Din al Haddad, and the commanders of the Khan Yunis and Rafah brigades: Mohammed Sinwar and Mohammed Shabaneh. The terrorist army is of course headed by Mohammed Deif and his deputy Marwan Issa, who is also a member of the political bureau in Gaza (pictured above wearing a mask). Besides them, Tawfiq Abu Na'im, head of the internal security apparatus, is also included. This means that a third of the high command is removed by the IDF in less than 45 days.
The blow to the Hamas Brigades
Moreover, 24 Hamas brigades suffered a blow. More than half of the battalion commanders were eliminated, and many field commanders were eliminated. At least ten battalions were significantly damaged. Israel estimates that thousands of terrorists have been killed since the beginning of the war.
Assassination of the commander of the Gaza Brigade's naval force in Hamas | IDF Spokesperson
Still, there are many challenges: Hamas has assimilated into the population and its terrorists are meticulous about civilian clothing, according to the documents leaked by the terrorist movement. These videos reveal the modus operandi: exiting tunnel shafts, hiding in residential buildings and firing at the forces, or exiting a tunnel shaft into residential areas and firing mortar shells.
The destruction in the Gaza Strip, photo: AP
In addition, the next phase of the war, the takeover of the southern Gaza Strip, will be more complex because of the peak density in the area. About 2 million Gazans are in the area, after one million people have moved south. And of course, there remained the political leadership abroad, which was not harmed at all: Bureau Chief Ismail Haniyeh, Khaled Mashaal and Arouri.
Nevertheless, Israel's campaign is advancing to complete some of its objectives: toppling the Hamas regime in Gaza and destroying its leadership.
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