US Thinks Israel Has Only Killed 30-35% of Hamas Fighters

Biden officials believe Hamas has recruited thousands of new fighters over the last several months

US intelligence indicates that Israel has only killed 30 to 35% of Hamas fighters who were members of the Palestinian group’s military wing before October 7, POLITICO reported on Tuesday.

Biden administration officials also believe Hamas has been able to recruit thousands of new fighters. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown warned back in November 2023 that Israel’s killing of so many civilians in Gaza would help Hamas recruit.

US intelligence also indicates that 65% of Hamas’s vast tunnel infrastructure remains intact, another sign of the resiliency of the Palestinian group even as Israel has decimated most of the Gaza Strip.

It’s unclear from the POLITICO report exactly how many Hamas fighters the US thinks have been killed. The Wall Street Journal reported in January that the US estimated Hamas had 25,000-30,000 fighters before October 7, plus thousands of police officers.

US officials have indicated that they never thought Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s goal of “eradicating” Hamas was realistic, yet the Biden administration has strongly backed the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza with military aid and diplomatic support.

On Monday, Brown and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin both criticized Israel for failing to protect civilians and for allowing Hamas to reconstitute itself in areas Israel claimed it cleared. “Not only do you have to actually go in and clear out whatever adversary you are up against, you have to go in, hold the territory and then you’ve got to stabilize it,” Brown said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.