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Let Snitz translate Israeli's success data for you!

Ok, after completely botching Gaza security which allowed the massacre to gain traction in the first place, Israel's military has NOT killed half of Hamas's Battalion Commanders? Great after leveling a city of 2 million most innocent civilians (half of which are children...dead serious about that statistic) they now plan to attack in the South, the very place they forced all of Gaza City's residents to flee to (after destroying their lives and homes).

Of course, you and I know that the estimate is inflated. Did the commanders all check in with time cards? I'd be surprised if they killed over one-third. And their bosses...safely out of harm's way.

What an incompetent bunch of clowns. I love being Jewish, I love Isreal, I do not love the right-wing whack jobs that are botching the security of the nation and painting the Tribe in very unflattering terms by their poorly thought-out blunders.

Do I sound exasperated to you?

Israel Says It Has Killed Half of Hamas’s Battalion Commanders

Israeli forces home in on southern hub where they think group’s senior leadership is hunkering

By Rory Jones

Updated Dec. 6, 2023

The Israeli military has killed about half of Hamas’s midlevel commanders in Gaza, Israeli officials said, as its troops pressed forward Wednesday into the suspected hiding place of the group’s leader in a bid to eliminate its top brass.

Israel is deploying a deliberate strategy to find and kill the militant group’s midlevel operatives to disrupt Hamas’s ability to fight in Gaza, though military analysts caution doing so is unlikely immediately to deliver the victory it craves.

Israel has so far failed to assassinate the U.S.-designated terrorist group’s senior leadership, which includes Yahya Sinwar, leader of Hamas in Gaza, and Mohammed Deif, the head of the group’s armed wing. But fighting is now coalescing around Khan Younis, one of Hamas’s strongholds in the southern strip, where the Israeli military says Sinwar and others could be hunkering.

The structure of Hamas’s secretive armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, isn’t widely known. But Israel estimates it has roughly 24 battalions each with 1,000 or more fighters. The Israeli military has said it has significantly degraded 10 of those by taking out midlevel commanders.

Israeli forces told residents of Khan Younis to evacuate the eastern and northern neighborhoods as its forces closed in on the city on Tuesday. Palestinians fled from the fighting amid a worsening humanitarian plight. Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

Late on Tuesday, Israel’s military said it killed senior commanders hiding in a tunnel in northern Gaza, frustrating the group’s ability to direct operations in that part of the strip. Israeli forces also released a photo of what they said was a group of operatives who led battalions and brigades, likely overseeing thousands of Hamas fighters. The military said it had found the photo during fighting and highlighted those in the picture whom it claims to have killed, including the commander of the northern brigade in Gaza, although it didn’t say when the people died. Hamas said late last month that Ahmed al-Ghandour, the head of its northern brigade, had died.

Israeli military analysts question the extent of the role of Deif, who is believed to have been rendered disabled by repeated assassination attempts. But Sinwar has been involved in negotiating for the hostages with Israel and military analysts believe Qassam’s deputy leader, Marwan Issa, a Gazan in his late 50s, is still in operation.

“The leadership at the midlevel is in a very bad situation,” said Yaakov Amidror, a former national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But, he said, the Hamas system hadn’t collapsed yet. “They are still making decisions, they are still fighting.”

Illustrating the ability of Hamas’s leadership to continue operations: Rockets fired from Gaza have increased in recent days. Israeli airstrikes have also intensified since the end of a cease-fire. Israel says it has killed up to 5,000 fighters out of a total of 30,000 in Hamas’s armed wing, although those figures are only estimates.

Killing Hamas commanders will hurt the group’s ability to fight but it won’t necessarily defeat them altogether, as other fighters will take their place, according to Jack Watling, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank.

Targeting commanders is “very important for two reasons: You degrade a force’s ability to execute more complex operations…and you also remove experienced personnel,” he said.

Israeli military vehicles drive near Israel’s border with Gaza.

Israeli forces are now engaging in street-to-street combat into the militants’ stronghold of Khan Younis, the biggest city in the southern part of the strip, where Sinwar grew up and which is now considered a main hub for Hamas, as fighting has shifted south. The battle for the city of over 400,000 could prove decisive in isolating pockets of Hamas fighters outside their main command-and-control centers. A video from Khan Younis taken Wednesday showed destroyed buildings with gunfire in the background.

Israel’s stated goal of eradicating Hamas could prove difficult because as well as being a militant group, it is a political movement followed by Palestinians, said Hugh Lovatt, a senior policy fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations. But the deaths of its leadership would give Israel a public-relations boost that could help create the conditions to end the war, Lovatt added.

“Being able to point to the elimination of Mohammed Deif or Yahya Sinwar would give the Israeli government a lot of capital that could allow it to then claim that its military objectives have been accomplished,” he said.

The next stage of the fight threatens to push tens of thousands of civilians toward Rafah, near the Egyptian border, where families are sleeping in tents and parks, and food and water are scarce. Around 70% of Gaza’s population of 2.2 million is in the southern part of the strip, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. That includes the hundreds of thousands of people who fled the northern part of the enclave in recent weeks at the direction of the Israeli military.

Health authorities in the Hamas-run territory say that since the end of the cease-fire and resumption of fighting on Dec. 1, at least 1,207 Palestinians have died in the enclave. In total, more than 15,900 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, most of them women and children, according to the health authorities. The figures don’t distinguish between militants and civilians.

United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said Tuesday that nowhere is safe in Gaza. “Such blatant disregard for basic humanity must stop. The fighting must stop,” he said.

The Israeli military’s humanitarian unit said Wednesday it had facilitated the opening of a new route for aid after parts of the strip’s main road around Khan Younis were closed because of fighting.

In a sign of the deterioration of already strained ties between Israel and the U.N., Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said he had revoked the visa of the agency’s top humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, Lynn Hastings. Hastings criticized Israel and failed to condemn Hamas for its Oct. 7 attacks that sparked the war, Cohen said on X, formerly known as Twitter. Hastings didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Palestinian woman stands in a destroyed room in a building damaged by Israeli strikes on Khan Younis. PHOTO: AHMED ZAKOT/REUTERS

Many displaced Gazans are staying in tents in Rafah, near the strip’s border with Egypt.

Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups hold more than 100 hostages taken from Israel in attacks on Oct. 7 that Israeli authorities say killed 1,200 people. Family members of those still held as well as those freed last month met on Tuesday with Netanyahu and his war cabinet to press them to focus on returning the remaining captives.

“The meeting was very tense,” said one family member who took part. She said that four to five freed hostages testified to the war cabinet about what they had experienced in captivity, including sexual assault. She said that families worry about the ability of those remaining to survive under the difficult conditions of captivity in Gaza.

Netanyahu and his ministers spoke in the meeting, but it was clear that they believed the fighting against Hamas must continue to pressure the group to make concessions, she added.

“We succeeded in returning home 110 hostages by a combination of a ground incursion of unprecedented strength and a continuous diplomatic effort,” Netanyahu said Tuesday. “This is the only way to also return the hostages who are still in Hamas captivity, and we are committed to doing so.”

The risk of a broader conflict involving Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and other Iran-backed proxies still looms. On Wednesday, the Israeli military said it exchanged fire on its northern border from Lebanon and had intercepted a surface-to-air-missile toward Israel in the south near Eilat.

Anat Peled contributed to this article.

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