Rafah Offensive Beyond Israel's Capabilities… 6,000 Resistance Fighters and Renewed Capabilities

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's threats to invade Rafah are helping to push for a prisoner exchange deal and buy time, the Haaretz newspaper said Friday, while “the Israeli army is not capable of launching a military operation in Rafah.”

The newspaper's military analyst, Amos Harel, said Netanyahu was trying to buy time and his goal was to “focus endlessly on the issue of a possible invasion of Rafah, which would delay the end of the war and delay the public. Political debate about the investigation into the failures that allowed the October 7 attack.”

Harel stressed that “real damage cannot be done without encroaching on Hamas' capabilities in Rafah, and contrary to official Israeli statements, it appears that the Israeli army does not yet have the capacity to launch a military operation in Rafah.”

The Israeli writer spoke about the obstacles facing the continuation of the war: “It will take weeks to evacuate the residents and displaced people from Rafah, and the army will have to allocate these large regular forces that are not stationed in southern Israel. Reserve forces, most of their soldiers have been mobilized to their homes.

Hamas capabilities
For its part, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported on Friday, citing an Israeli security estimate, that there are still 4,000 to 6,000 Hamas fighters in central and northern Gaza.

Israeli assessments warned that the reduction of forces in Gaza and the absence of a force to fill the vacuum would lead to a renewal of the movement's military and administrative control over the area.

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In the months of occupation, Israeli media have debated Hamas's capabilities to withstand the war, and reports of renewed fighting in Gaza City and the northern Strip have increased in recent days, Haaretz newspaper said, citing Israeli military, media and political sources. It indicates that Hamas and other Palestinian factions have renewed their ability to move into those areas.

In early February, Israeli military radio said Israeli forces were still far from achieving their goal of eliminating Hamas' missile capabilities, stressing that the task would take one to two years, according to estimates.

In the same month, researchers from the Israeli military intelligence agency confirmed that Hamas is capable of surviving as an armed organization capable of waging a guerilla war.

Israeli Channel 12 reports that the head of the intelligence division's research department in the military presented these findings to Israeli government officials, warning that despite the devastating war on Gaza, Hamas still enjoys genuine support.

Along with the fighters' maneuverability, command disintegration and missile capabilities, Hamas' intelligence has come as a shock to Israeli intelligence officials, according to a report published by the “Israel Today” newspaper on Friday.

The newspaper added: “Israeli intelligence officials have been tight-lipped about the extent of the Al-Qassam Brigades' spying capabilities, discovering communications servers set up underground by Hamas in Gaza.”

“Before the war, the intelligence services in Hamas included, according to Israeli estimates, 2,100 operatives with equipment and expertise from Iran and Hezbollah, while the Directorate of Military Intelligence in the Israeli army closely monitors and trusts the sector. It has complete information on Hamas's intelligence-gathering apparatus.” .

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The paper reveals that an example of the failure of Israeli intelligence was the security cameras Al-Qassam infiltrated in areas around Gaza. Although the military knew they had succeeded in penetrating some of the cameras, they later discovered the extent of the infiltration. Big.

“Israeli officials knew only the tip of the iceberg about Hamas' capabilities,” the newspaper pointed out, adding that “the other area where the movement's capabilities emerged was in cyberwarfare. In recent years, the military has observed several attempts to hack into soldiers' phones and gain access to communications servers. Information extracted from phones Oct. 7 served Al-Qassam well.

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