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We Have Nearly Dismantled Hamas in Rafah

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Helgi Halevi told soldiers in the Rafah, Gaza Strip, on Sunday night that they had nearly succeeded in destroying Hamas’ remaining battalions in the area.

Halevi said in a statement (translated by IDF):

The fighting in Rafah has achieved a very high level of success, and I am deeply grateful for that. This is reflected in the number of terrorists eliminated, the infrastructure destroyed, the routes of the underground tunnels, their mapping, their destruction, and the progress of the complex underground battle. The fact that the 162nd Division now controls the Philadelphia corridor from the sea to the Israel-Gaza-Egypt border is very significant in cutting off Hamas’ future supply of smuggling. We are now dealing with underground assets. We are approaching the stage where we can say that we have dismantled the Rafah Brigade. That does not mean that the terrorists are gone, but that they can no longer function as a fighting force. There have been many casualties, and we must ensure that we eliminate as many terrorists as possible and destroy as much of the terrorist infrastructure as possible until our mission here is completed. I am deeply grateful, but what is happening here is very impressive professionally. Please keep going.

Israel has largely eliminated Hamas as a fighting force on the ground but retains significant assets underground, including weapons, leadership and dozens of Israeli hostages.

One Israeli analyst said Conclusion As long as Hamas remains underground, it will likely be impossible to completely destroy it, at least in the short term: Israel has not developed a robust enough underground fighting capability, and it would be too dangerous to send soldiers directly into the tunnels to confront Hamas.

There is growing pressure among Israelis to reach a deal with Hamas to release the hostages, but Hamas wants Israel to end the war and promise never to fight the terror group again under a U.S.-backed guarantee – conditions Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected.

The Biden administration opposed Israel’s incursion into Rafah, warning of a humanitarian catastrophe that never came: the 1 million Palestinians who had taken refuge in the town on the border with Egypt simply fled.

Israel now controls the Gaza-Egyptian border and the smuggling routes that Hamas uses to rebuild its military.

Joel B. Pollack is executive editor of Breitbart News. Breitbart News Sunday The show airs Sunday nights from 7 to 10 p.m. (4 to 7 p.m. ET) on SiriusXM Patriot. He is the author of his recently published e-book,The Zionist Conspiracy (And How to Join It)” is available on Audible. He is also the author of an e-book. Not Free or Fair: The 2020 US Presidential ElectionHe is the recipient of the Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship in 2018. Follow him on Twitter. Joel Pollack.

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