The war may be at a temporary freeze, but Israeli leadership claims that this will not last much longer and that they fully intend to destroy Hamas when it is over. Unlike Iran and Hamas, Israel does not make threats they are not fully prepared to back up. You can bet your last dollar that if Israel does not destroy Hamas it won’t be for the lack of trying. There are indications that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) plan to resume hostilities as soon as next week. This will be sped up if Hamas quits releasing hostages.
Many expect pause to be extended if more hostages are released, but experts predict military campaign could run into next year
Gaza’s truce is unlikely to last significantly beyond Tuesday, with Israel’s military stepping up pressure on Sunday to restart the air and ground offensive in a campaign that some experts predict could run into next year.
The four-day halt in fighting, described by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) as “an operational pause”, is scheduled to end on 7am on Tuesday if the agreed transfer of 50 hostages held by Hamas and others in Gaza goes to plan.
There is an expectation in many quarters that the pause will be extended for a few days, and the current agreement allows for an extra day’s truce for every 10 hostages Hamas is willing to release.
It is estimated there were another 40 children and women who are not soldiers and who were not covered by the initial agreement, giving scope for more phased releases, although not all the hostages are under the direct control of Hamas, but instead Palestinian Jihad or other smaller armed groups.
Gen. Herzi Halevi, who is leading Israel’s operations in Gaza, recalled meeting with Israeli soldiers on Sunday.
That may lead to several days of extensions, but the IDF has been unambiguously signalling its desire to restart the military campaign. It’s head, Gen Herzi Halevi, put out an uncompromising message to all of the country’s soldiers on Sunday morning.
He described meeting many of them after long hours of combat: “I saw reflected in your eyes the magnitude of the moment, the fighting spirit and determination to achieve all the objectives of the war. I heard you tell me: ‘We want to fight until we return the hostages.’ And so we are doing just that.”
Hamas has expressed a desire to extend the truce beyond the initial four-day period and has committed to increase the number of hostages released. However, any possible extension remains dependent on the terrorist group freeing more hostages. Indeed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated he might be open to extending the truce in exchange for more hostages, but noted that this will not stop the onslaught that is coming for Hamas.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he told US President Joe Biden that he is open to extending the current truce, but once it is over, the IDF ground operation will return in full force.
“We brought home another group of hostages, children and women, and I am moved to the depths of my heart, the entire nation is, when we see families reunited,” he says in a video statement.
Netanyahu also told President Biden that the IDF is:
“returning full power to carry out our aims: destroy Hamas, ensure that Gaza won’t return to what it was and of course to free all of our hostages.”
I don’t know if Hamas is scared, but they ought to be. Israel don’t play.