Israel Gears Up to Resume Gaza Fighting

(Ha'aretz) Amos Harel - Even though the pause has been extended until Thursday morning, in an attempt to free more hostages, the time left isn't unlimited, although the cease-fire may be extended to the weekend. There are Hamas companies and battalions in the north that effectively are no longer under the control of the leadership since their commanders and hundreds of fighters were killed. In areas where there's a massive IDF presence, Hamas retreated, put up little resistance, and focused on rearguard actions. However, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar's chain of command is still functioning in the south and to some extent in the north, too. In the next stage, Sinwar will demand the release of many more security prisoners in exchange for the Israeli soldiers he now holds captive as well as the remaining civilians. But it's hard to predict whether the Israeli public would support a prolonged ceasefire, during which negotiations stretch on for months and the cost will be the freeing of thousands of Palestinian security prisoners. Public opinion continues to strongly back completion of the military operation and the destruction of Hamas' capabilities. The images of the Oct. 7 massacre remain very much alive in the Israeli consciousness. The IDF has made use of the ceasefire to refresh its forces and reorganize. There's a huge effort underway to repair and restore tanks, armored personnel carriers and bulldozers that had been working nonstop over the past few weeks. A lot of equipment was hit by RPGs, although most of the damage was light. Israel's Trophy active protection system for armored vehicles has provided an excellent defense.

2023-11-29 00:00:00

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