Differences come to light.. What scenarios await Netanyahu in Gaza? | news

The Israeli government’s divisions over the war over the Gaza Strip came to light this week, after Defense Minister Yoav Galant asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to present a clear strategy as the army returns to fighting in areas it declared months ago. its goals.

In a Reuters analysis, Gallant’s statements — that he would not agree to the formation of a military government to govern the Strip — reflect growing concern in the corridors of the Israeli security establishment that Netanyahu lacks a clear vision of who will govern. Scratch what Israel calls “the day after the war.”

His statements highlighted a sharp divide between two former generals and Israeli War Council members from the centrist movement, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot – who supported Gallant’s call – and far-right nationalist religious parties led by the finance minister. Bezalel Smotrich and Minister of National Defense Itamar Ben Gvir – which condemned the comments.

Right-wing newspaper “Israel Hayom” headlined its editorial published yesterday, Thursday, “This is no way to wage a war,” with Netanyahu and Gallant looking in different directions.

Aside from eliminating the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and repatriating those detained by the resistance, Netanyahu did not articulate a clear strategic goal to end the war, which has cost more than 35,000 Palestinians and tens of thousands more wounded and missing. , and displaced people.

Netanyahu – who is struggling to hold on to an increasingly divisive ruling coalition – has so far stuck to his pledge to achieve what he says is a total victory in Gaza.

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Yossi Michelberg, who participated in the Middle East and North Africa program at the Chatham House Institute of International Affairs, said: “The options for Israel are either to end the war and leave, or to set up a military government to manage everything there, and to control the entire region for a certain period of time, and he knows the outcome, because they are a Once out of the area, Hamas reappears.

Guerrilla warfare

Gallant’s refusal to consider any form of permanent military rule reflects the material and political costs of a move that would severely exhaust the military and the economy, recalling years of Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon since the 1982 war. to Reuters.

Yedioth Ahronoth – the most widely circulated Israeli newspaper – cited a confidential estimate by the security establishment on Friday that estimated the cost of maintaining a military government in the Gaza Strip at around 20 billion shekels ($5.43 billion) annually. Reconstruction costs.

The newspaper added that the additional troop requirements would mean the withdrawal of troops from the northern border with Lebanon and from central Israel, and a sharp increase in reserve service.

Michael Milstein, a former intelligence officer and one of the most prominent Israeli experts on Hamas affairs, said that full control of Gaza would require 4 battalions, or about 50,000 soldiers.

Although the occupation claimed to have killed thousands of Hamas members and most of the brigades were disbanded, small groups emerged in areas where the occupation army withdrew in the early stages of the war.

Milstein said of Hamas, “It’s a very flexible organization and it can adapt very quickly. They’ve adopted new styles of guerrilla warfare.”

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friendly fire

The expected cost of the protracted conflict became clear last Wednesday when an Israeli tank killed five Israeli soldiers with “friendly fire” during heavy fighting in the Jabaliya area north of Gaza City, which the occupation said had been removed by the occupation last January. Hamas’s military formation after weeks of fighting.

He said at the time that there were still militants in Jabaliya, but operating “without structure and without leaders”. The occupation said it was carrying out an attack on Jabaliya on Friday, where forces were fighting in the center of the city, killing more than 60 soldiers and finding dozens of long-range missiles.

Israeli military spokesman Admiral Daniel Hagari said the military’s mission was to “eliminate these places where Hamas is returning and try to reorganize itself,” but he added that any question of an alternative government to Hamas would be decided by that body. Political situation.

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