What is Hamas’s hit and run style war policy, how much damage has Israel caused so far

The war between Israel and Hamas continues. But after the long-running war, Hamas has become very weak. After which the terrorist group is now resorting to guerrilla tactics to maintain its hold against the more powerful Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Hamas’s resistance is developing rapidly. In such a situation, let us tell you how weak Hamas has become. How Hamas is using tunnels for its guerrilla tactics and is there any possibility of Hamas being completely eliminated.

Significant losses for Hamas

According to experts and officials, eight months after the Gaza conflict began with surprise attacks on Israel in October last year, Hamas has become significantly weakened and divided. However, it is still far from defeated. In a recent report, Reuters quoted US and Israeli officials as saying that the group has seen about half of its forces wiped out so far. Officials said Hamas’ fighting force has been reduced to between 9,000-12,000 fighters, down from a pre-conflict estimate of 20,000-25,000. Notably, between 7,000-8,000 Hamas fighters remain in Rafah, the group’s last significant bastion of resistance. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby recently told ABC News that US intelligence now believes Hamas has been weakened militarily to the point that it cannot repeat the October 7 attack. The group has not just been reduced militarily. It has also earned the ire of some Palestinians. In April, the Guardian reported that despite a survey suggesting support for Hamas in the region, there was evidence of deepening anger within Gaza against Hamas. The group’s unprecedented apology in March for the suffering caused by the conflict was evidence of this. Hamas retains control of large parts of Gaza, and its leadership remains largely secure. Hamas has maintained control of key population centers, and its operatives have been seen maintaining order in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza after the IDF withdrew from there in the first week of April.

Changes to guerrilla warfare

Hamas has resorted to guerrilla warfare tactics. Hamas fighters are increasingly avoiding battles, opting for ambushes and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to attack Israeli targets behind enemy lines. The Wall Street Journal in a recent report detailed how, despite the Israeli military’s focus on Rafah, Hamas has leveraged its tunnel network and guerrilla tactics to launch hit-and-run attacks in northern Gaza. These tactics have kept Israeli forces engaged throughout the region, and created battlegrounds in previously quiet areas. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Peter Lerner acknowledged that dismantling the network is no easy task.

Can Hamas be completely eliminated?

Lerner said killing every last terrorist on the ground is never a goal. It is not a realistic goal. He said destroying Hamas as a ruling authority is an attainable and achievable military objective. Joost Hiltermann of the International Crisis Group spoke about the group’s pervasive presence despite military setbacks. He said Hamas is everywhere in Gaza. Hamas continues to exert control through the police and civil security bodies under its interior ministry, while maintaining its social influence.

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