Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s emergency war cabinet and former defense minister, stated on Wednesday that the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel is unlikely to end soon. Gantz also warned that the large-scale hostilities could extend beyond Gaza.
During the funeral of Ofir Libstein, a regional council head allegedly killed by Hamas militants, Gantz predicted that the fighting would endure for a long time. He emphasized that reconstruction would take years before Israel can declare victory. Gantz mentioned the potential for a northern front, referring to the tense situation on Israel’s border with Lebanon, where the militant group Hezbollah is based. He also acknowledged Israel’s occupation of part of the Golan Heights, which is claimed by Syria.
Gantz’s statement about the rebuilding process being essential for victory indicates the arduous path Israel must undertake to achieve its goals. He stressed that the war in the south, and potentially in other areas as well, could last for months. Only after the reconstruction efforts are complete can Israel fully claim victory.
The minister’s reference to a potential northern front highlights the possibility of further conflicts beyond Gaza. The situation in Lebanon, with Hezbollah’s presence, poses a significant security concern for Israel. Additionally, the ongoing dispute with Syria over the Golan Heights further complicates the regional landscape.
Gantz expressed that Israel’s objective is not just to defeat Hamas but also to ensure that the southern region becomes a paradise. The emphasis on long-term rebuilding efforts indicates a commitment to creating a stable and prosperous environment for the local population.
Former commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division, Gadi Shamni, commented on Israel’s alliance with the United States. He stated that the US expects Israel to destroy Hamas, and he believes that Israel’s military is capable of completing the mission within six to eight months. Shamni’s remarks underscore the support Israel receives from its key ally in its battle against Hamas.
However, former CIA chief David Petraeus cautioned about the potential challenges Israel may face during a ground campaign in Gaza. He compared the situation to the infamous 1993 Battle of Mogadishu involving US forces in Somalia, suggesting that the urban setting and tactics used by Hamas could present significant challenges for the Israeli military.
The violent conflict between Hamas and Israel began on October 7 when Hamas launched a surprise missile and ground attack on Israel. The ensuing hostilities have resulted in a significant number of casualties on both sides. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel is at war and vowed retaliation. According to official data, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 3,700 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis.
In conclusion, Benny Gantz’s remarks indicate that the conflict between Hamas and Israel is expected to continue for an extended period. The potential for hostilities spreading beyond Gaza, particularly along Israel’s northern border, adds to the volatile situation. The focus on long-term reconstruction efforts highlights Israel’s commitment to creating a stable and prosperous southern region. Despite the challenges ahead, the alliance with the United States and Israel’s belief in its military capabilities give hope for a resolution to the conflict. However, cautionary voices remind us of the potential difficulties that may arise during a ground campaign in Gaza. The ongoing conflict has resulted in significant casualties on both sides, underscoring the urgency of finding a resolution.