Israeli Military Says Hamas Will Not Be Defeated in Gaza Offensive

Netanyahu has promised to eliminate the organization

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) officials have concluded that even if Israel can dismantle Hamas in Gaza, the group will continue to exist. American defense officials have warned that Israel’s indiscriminate killing in Gaza will fuel armed resistance among Palestinians.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported on Thursday that even if the IDF eliminates Hamas organization in Gaza, the group will continue to fight Israel as “a terror group and a guerrilla group.” The Israeli defense officials concluded in their report that “authentic support remains” for Hamas among Palestinians.

The Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, including over 12,000 children. The mass death has created a rally-around-the flag effect in Gaza for Hamas. Channel 12 investigative journalist Ilana Dayan reported that the “bottom line” was “Hamas will survive this [IDF] campaign as a terror group and a guerrilla group.”

In November, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown warned Israel that their indiscriminate attacks on Gaza would drive Palestinians to join Hamas. Asked by reporters if the high civilian casualty rate will create more Hamas fighters, Brown said, “Yes, very much so. And I think that’s something we have to pay attention to.”

“That’s why when we talk about time — the faster you can get to a point where you stop the hostilities, you have less strife for the civilian population that turns into someone who now wants to be the next member of Hamas,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed the primary goal of Israeli military operations in Gaza is the elimination of Hamas. “There won’t be [the] absolute victory” which was predicted and demanded by Netanyahu, Dayan explained.

The IDF report said part of the barrier to the elimination of Hamas is that Tel Aviv lacks a plan for the day after the conflict ends. President Joe Biden has attempted to focus on this issue: what will happen after the conflict, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu may be unable to put forward a public plan for after the war because of conflicts regarding demands from some of his most important supporters. While Biden wants to rebuild Gaza for Palestinians, members of Netanyahu’s government are planning for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza and settlement by Israelis in the Strip.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.