‘Long-term end to Israel-Hamas war is elusive’
Washington: With the Israel-Hamas war resuming at the end of the temporary truce and efforts by five nations end the war and its horrors failing, the war is looking to take a different turn with no solution in sight with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu affirming “nothing will stop” until the Hamas is crushed, US political and military strategists said.
The war is costing the Israeli economy $270 million per day, GDP set to fall by 5 per cent in the 3rd quarter and all scientific research screeching to a halt as university students have been drafted into the war, Israeli ministry officials said, claimed sources.
Israel will not agree to a long-term cease-fire in Gaza until it has severely weakened Hamas – a process still likely to take months, despite international pressure to extend a negotiated pause in military operations – according to political and military analysts.
“There is a broad consensus among the public, the political echelons and the security establishment that Israel cannot go back to a situation where Hamas continues to govern Gaza and threatens our civilian population,” said Nimrod Novik, a fellow at the Israel Policy Forum.
“How and when Israel will end its operation will depend on military, domestic and political considerations, as well as public opinion in Israel and pressure from the US,” US News and World Report said in its analysis of the on-going war.
Hamas militants on October 7 killed 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals, most of them civilians, and fired thousands of rockets into Israel.
With Israel resuming the war on grounds that Hamas breached the truce, Hamas will hold onto the rest of the hostages as a bargaining chip to release more Palestinian prisoners.
Israel responded with an air bombardment of Hamas military sites – located mostly in civilian areas – and a subsequent ground search for tunnels, terrorists and the 240 hostages Hamas abducted to northern Gaza.
In the process, the Israel Defense Forces leveled large swaths of northern Gaza.
Jonathan Rynhold, a political scientist at Bar Ilan University, said the IDF’s vow to act more carefully is a way to show President Joe Biden that it is making a “100 per cent effort to defeat Hamas within the rules of warfare. Biden has been demanding since Day One that there should be no civilian casualties”.
Biden’s strong support of Israel’s right to pursue Hamas and free the hostages has contributed to his popularity failing among Democrats, pollsters say.
Israel’s Finance Ministry estimates that the war is costing the economy about $270 million per day, while Standard and Poors, the credit ratings agency, predicts the Israeli economy will shrink by 5 per cent in the last quarter of 2023.