Israelis Know that This Is a Pause - Not the Beginning of a Ceasefire

(Jewish News-UK) Richard Miron - Israeli TV screens have been filled for the past few days with pictures of families reunited amid tears and hugs. The sirens that have regularly punctuated daily life have fallen silent as a pause in fighting between the IDF and Hamas holds while the exchange of Israeli women and children for Palestinian prisoners goes on. But all this is likely to end very soon as the fighting resumes with equal or even greater intensity. Following the atrocities of Oct. 7, Israel has pledged to destroy Hamas on the ground as a functioning military and political entity in Gaza, and it is not going to be diverted from that objective, even if some hostages remain in captivity. Israeli security sources say the next military operation will extend from the north of Gaza to the south where most of Hamas' leadership and fighters are now situated. This phase is expected to take a few months, followed by a continuing need to conduct raids and operations with a reduced level of manpower to destroy the last vestiges of Hamas. Yahya Sinwar, the evil genius behind the massacres on Oct. 7, believes that Israel will blink first when it starts losing ever more soldiers on the field of battle, and as it faces growing international criticism of its military operations. But the mood in Israel is different from anything I have experienced in the past. People from all parts of society, left, right, religious and secular are resolute. The images and horrors of Oct. 7have changed the country. This is a war that must be fought and won, whatever the cost to Israel itself. Ordinary people and security experts alike know that if they fail to destroy Hamas, then their country will be weakened and fatally vulnerable in the face of all its enemies. For Israelis, this conflict is existential. They are fighting to recover their deterrence which was stripped away on Oct. 7. They are battling against an enemy in Hamas with whom they cannot negotiate and with whom there can be no option but to eradicate as a threat. The writer is a former spokesman for the UN Secretary General's Middle East Envoy.

2023-12-01 00:00:00

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