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Israeli military intelligence report: Hamas will 'survive as a terror group' despite government's goal to eradicate

Members of Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, attend a rally in Beit Lahiya on May 30, 2021. (Photo: Atia Mohammed/Flash90)

Israeli military intelligence has reportedly assessed that Hamas will survive as a terror organization in Gaza despite the Israeli government’s official goal to eliminate the Iranian-backed terror proxy in Gaza. The intelligence assessment was summarized in a document that was reportedly shared with Israeli leaders, Israel's Channel 12 news reported on Thursday.

Ilana Dayan, a senior investigative journalist with Channel 12 who had access to the document, said Israeli intelligence does not believe the goal of eliminating the Hamas terror organization is realistic.

“Hamas will survive this [IDF] campaign as a terror group and a guerrilla group,” Dayan said. “In this regard, at least,” she added, “there won’t be absolute victory.”

According to the report, “authentic support remains” for the Hamas regime among many Gazans, despite all of the destruction and suffering that it has brought to the Gaza Strip since the war began.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office has so far not commented on the intelligence report.

The Israeli government has repeatedly vowed that Hamas will be eliminated as a military and political force in Gaza. In December, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized that Israel would continue its military operation until Hamas was neutralized and destroyed and the hostages returned home to their families in Israel.

“We’re continuing the war to the end,” Netanyahu vowed. “It will continue until Hamas is destroyed — until victory…until all the goals we set are met: destroying Hamas; releasing our hostages and removing the threat from Gaza,” Netanyahu pledged.

While the Biden administration supports Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas aggression, Washington appears to increasingly believe that Hamas will not be entirely dismantled after the war.

In November, U.S. National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby outlined the challenges of fighting against ideologically-driven terror organizations.

“What we have learned through our own experiences, is that through military and other means you can absolutely have a significant impact on terrorist groups' ability to resource itself, to train fighters, to recruit fighters, to plan to execute attacks,” Kirby said. “It doesn’t mean that the ideology withers away and dies,” he emphasized.

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi has vowed to “dismantle” rather than eliminate Hamas, indicating that his focus is on destroying Hamas as a military and political force rather than an ideology.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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