‘The war in Gaza is over, but the state of war is not,’ says retired general Israel Ziv

‘The war in Gaza is over, but the state of war is not,’ says retired general Israel Ziv

David Horovitz writes:

Is this how the war ends? Not with a bang, or even a whimper, but with the IDF pulling its ground forces out of Khan Younis, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant asserting, in defiance of reality, that Hamas has “stopped functioning as a military organization throughout the Gaza Strip,” contradicting himself in the next breath, and clarifying a few hours later?

As Israel on Sunday marked six months since the October 7 massacre, the two prime declared goals of the war — destroying Hamas’s military capabilities and bringing home the remaining 129 hostages abducted that day — are patently unfulfilled.

As Gallant went on to acknowledge immediately after making his “Hamas has stopped functioning” claim on Sunday afternoon, Hamas has yet to be tackled in Rafah, where its leaders are believed to be hiding, surrounded by hostages and protected by four battalions. For that matter, two other battalions in central Gaza are still thought to be functional.

And while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, as he has several times of late, that Israel is “a step away” from complete victory, his third declared goal of the war, ensuring that neither Hamas nor any other terror threat to Israel will rise again in Gaza, is also far from achieved.

As retired general Israel Ziv — a former IDF operations chief who plunged back into battle on October 7, driving down south to see what he could do to help turn back the Hamas terror onslaught — told a Channel 12 interviewer soon after Gallant spoke, “in these very hours” Khan Younis is going “back into Hamas hands.” And in the absence of any kind of alternate leadership, “Hamas’s control in the Strip continues.”

The way Ziv described it, “the war in Gaza is over,” but “the state of war is not.” Sunday’s IDF-announced withdrawal of ground forces from southern Gaza, signaling the end of major ground operations, risks “frittering away the IDF’s hard-fought achievements,” he added. “So we’re nowhere right now.”

Channel 12 TV’s military correspondent Nir Dvori, reading from his notes during the primetime evening news, presumably after a military briefing, echoed the assessment: “We have moved from war to fighting. The high-intensity [ground] maneuver is finished everywhere in Gaza. The operation in Khan Younis is done. [The IDF] is moving to the system of [more narrowly focused] raids.” Such raids were already being implemented in the north of Gaza, and now they would become the modus operandi in the south as well, he assessed.

Making no effort to conceal his own dismay at the material he was conveying, Dvori declared that “the hunt for [Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya] Sinwar now moves essentially to the realm of intel. And Israel, as we see, has given up on [its] two major points of leverage: both military pressure and humanitarian [aid].”

“After half a year,” Dvori unhappily summed up, “Israel remains with three big problems: how to return the hostages; how to bring the residents back home in the south and north [of the country]; and how to set up an alternative to Hamas” to administer the Strip.

“If Israel cannot achieve a framework for this, and I don’t know of one, then we are entering a very big problem for Israel,” he concluded. [Continue reading…]

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