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Israel ongoing war on Gaza deepens political, economic losses: report

March 6, 2024 at 3:14 pm

Hundreds attend the protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, demanding early election in Tel Aviv, Israel on February 24, 2024 [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

The continuation of the Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip deepens Tel Aviv’s losses at the political and military levels, Israeli newspaper, Maariv, said in a report on Tuesday.

The paper added that, while the head of the Hamas Movement in Gaza, Yahya Al-Sinwar, has succeeded in “besieging Israel” and the Movement achieved a number of gains, it has imposed its own conditions in the truce negotiations and doubled international pressure on Tel Aviv.

Israel stands accused of genocide before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over its devastating war on Gaza.

The paper said the Israeli army drags its feet in slow motion along the Gaza Strip and rarely launches new operations, except when it tries to comb some of the small areas it left behind.

“Since the encirclement of Khan Yunis and the [occupation] of the west of the city, the Israeli army has demobilised the majority of the reserve forces from the Gaza Strip, relying mainly on regular brigades such as the 162nd and 98th divisions,” it claimed, adding that the political leadership is also dragging its feet, waiting for external intervention and trying to reach a prisoner exchange agreement.

According to the paper, that is why the political leadership does not issue many statements, does not order the army to occupy the camps in central Gaza or the rural areas surrounding Rafah and does not attempt to evacuate the refugees in Rafah.

It claimed that taking such steps would put pressure on Hamas and improve the terms of the exchange agreement, while preparing the ground for occupying Rafah.

However, according to the report, Hamas’s chief in Gaza, Sinwar, has succeeded in besieging Israel within the place he wanted it, that is, under international pressure due to the refugee issue and the shortage of food and water in the Gaza Strip, which has made it reluctant to reach an agreement.

Meanwhile, senior Hamas officials from outside the political wing make statements saying the signing of the prisoner agreement is imminent, but Hamas is not prepared to give Israel the most basic information, such as information about the number of prisoners still alive.

“It is clear that the military wing of Hamas does not want to conclude an agreement, in the first place, which means the refugees will not return, the army will not withdraw from the cities and the Gaza Strip will not be allowed to be reconstructed,” it said.

This delay allows Hamas to drag Israel out until after the month of Ramadan, which will extend the war for at least two additional months, while the Israeli army could have ended its military operation and occupied central Gaza and the Rafah camps a month ago, if the political leadership allowed it, the paper added in its report.

The Maariv report coincides with a senior Israeli official’s estimate that the damage resulting from the war on the Gaza Strip is six times greater than that caused by the second war on Lebanon in 2006.

The Director of the Israeli Tax Authority, Shai Aharonovitz, said earlier on Tuesday that half a million compensation claims have already been submitted to the Authority and expected the number of claims to reach 700,000.

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