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Asharq al-Awsad has been monitoring Hamas' efforts to regain control of northern Gaza

Despite Israel's repeated announcements of ending base operations in areas of the northern Gaza Strip, where the defeat of “Hamas” and the removal of its military structures allowed the withdrawal of military forces from the area, what has been observed in recent days is that the army has resumed ground operations in several areas, its Expanding operations also affected western Gaza City and the vicinity of the Al-Shifa medical complex, where Israelis believe Hamas cells have returned. to northern Gaza after they were expelled from there.

It is noteworthy that a few days ago, Israeli forces launched a large and sudden operation in the vicinity of the “Arafat Security City” compound and the Al-Shifa Medical Facility complex in Gaza City. Violent attacks. The move is one of several that appear to be related to Hamas's attempt to revive its government in the northern Gaza Strip.

But how does Hamas work to restore its government there, and does that include rebuilding its military infrastructure?

Field situation in Gaza on the 119th day of the war

Informed sources have confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Hamas has indeed asked several of its local officials to manage government affairs in areas of the northern Gaza Strip following the withdrawal of Israeli ground forces.

Sources said these officials tried to communicate directly with other officials in civil defense agencies such as “Finance,” “Interior” and police, and ordered each of them to move in their field of specialization and according to their capabilities. To show that the movement still exists and is capable of governing, and to prevent great confusion.

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Asharq al-Awsad received information about “complicated efforts” by local Hamas leaders to regulate the situation in the northern Gaza Strip. These include ordering the police to work in the northern territories and paying a financial advance of $200 to every government employee in the Gaza Strip. The advance is the first since a similar percentage was granted during the 7-day humanitarian ceasefire at the end of last November.

The same sources said the police and other security services had received instructions to withdraw their operations in the northern Gaza Strip, depending on available capabilities and security conditions on the ground. This was followed by orders to arrest “thieves” who attempted to rob houses and shops, in addition to arrest warrants against certain merchants accused of monopolizing certain foodstuffs and hoarding and exploiting them.

The bodies of the victims were taken to the Arab National Hospital in Gaza City on January 31 (AFP).

Asharq al-Awsad reporter saw some members of the Hamas government police, in military or civilian uniforms, in several markets and streets in the northern Gaza Strip, trying to control prices and prevent theft.

The same sources told Asharq al-Awsad that Hamas's attempt to restore its government in the northern Gaza Strip coincided with the restructuring of the movement's armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades. In this context, the sources confirmed that the “Al-Qassam Command” has issued an order to replace those killed in the war waged by Israel in the north with battalion commanders, representatives and field officers.

These Hamas movements appear to have rallied Israel, calling for the destruction of the movement and the undermining of its civilian rule and military apparatus.

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A view of a videotape distributed by one of Hamas' fighters as it fired a rocket at Israeli forces in Gaza City on January 31 (Al-Qassam Brigades – Reuters)

Israeli officials have said in recent weeks that they may have to expand their operations in northern Gaza again, citing efforts by Hamas to restore its operations there.

In this case, Israel monitored Hamas's movements, including the use of an outdoor room adjacent to the al-Shifa medical complex, in order to manage the payment of government salaries.

Sources said the Israeli attack near the Al-Shifa medical facility was actually aimed at halting this process and thwarting Hamas's attempt to bring the situation back under control. The Israeli forces did not storm during their operation; The al-Shifa compound, or outer room, was used for disbursing salaries and administering government work, and was content with firing from quadcopters to prevent civilian movement in the area, while vehicles and tanks were stationed on multiple axes. Around the largest medical complex in the Gaza Strip, it was a sight to behold. A massive invasion with the start of a ground war.

Hamas field sources told Asharq al-Awsad that they were aware of Israel's moves. He added: “Israel wants to force appointed people to follow up on government and local affairs, monitor public life and lead an emergency team set up to retreat, and it does not want to see police forces (linked to the Hamas government). ) “It targets the movement's civilian government along with its military force (al-Qassam Brigades).”

Israeli forces distributed leaflets in the western part of Gaza City, which includes the Shifa Medical Complex, calling on everyone to evacuate the hospital and their homes and move to Deir al-Bala in the middle of the Strip. What happened at the beginning of the ground war, they said, was to destroy “terrorist organizations”. According to data interpretation.

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Hamas operations continue against Israelis in Gaza City (Al-Qassam Brigades – Reuters)

Not only did Israel strike sites where Hamas was beginning to restore its civilian capabilities, military operations were also seen on the ground. Israeli forces attacked areas such as al-Shadi camp, Sheikh Ratwan neighborhood and Tal al-Hawa neighborhood to thwart al-Qassam militias' attempts to renew military operations.

Sources revealed that about 10 days ago, the Israeli army assassinated a military figure who was running the al-Qassam Battalion in Tal al-Hawa. After being appointed to command the brigade, his assassination took place after its previous commander. A few days earlier, Israel had also assassinated a field commander from the Beech Battalion, which apparently received instructions to revive the brigade's mission after its leaders were killed during the war.

Al-Qassam Brigades reported clashes with Israeli forces infiltrating north of Gaza in Gaza City, indicating the presence of fighting groups in what Israel describes as “pockets of resistance”. The Israeli army has confirmed that three officers and soldiers were killed in several days of operations in those areas.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said a few days ago that his forces would pursue “pockets of terror” in the northern Gaza Strip, in a clear message that Israel is committed to depriving Hamas of continued rule at any cost.

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