Monday, January 24th | 22 Shevat 5782

March 16, 2019 3:30 pm

Report: Israel Defense Forces Have Prepared Plan to ‘Go All the Way’ Against Hamas

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

An Israeli Merkava tank pulls back from the Gaza Strip near the border with Israel on Aug. 3, 2014. Photo: Flash90.

The Israel Defense Forces has reportedly prepared a plan for a war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip that will “go all the way” and destroy the terror organization.

According to Hebrew news site Walla, Israel’s military echelon has approved a plan to reconquer the Strip, at least temporarily, and destroy Hamas militarily. The army believes that the need for such an operation may be imminent, as the situation in Gaza is extremely volatile.

The IDF is considering several reasons that could set off a conflict: The unintentional death of a senior official or Palestinian children during the ongoing border riots; the Hamas leadership’s desire to distract from the economic crisis in the Strip; and the rise of Palestinian Islamic Jihad as an even more radical and violent organization than Hamas.

In addition, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has a strong desire for Hamas’ decimation, either by Israel or through a Hamas “surrender” induced by economic and political pressure.

According to the Walla report, Hamas is aware of this, and therefore likely wants some kind of mediation from Egypt that will persuade Israel to remove economic restrictions on the Strip. Without this, the IDF believes Hamas may deliberately trigger a major war.

As a result of these considerations, the IDF has undertaken the comprehensive plan for taking over the Strip and eliminating Hamas. What will happen next is apparently uncertain. The options include an international force to govern the Strip, handing the territory back to the PA, or the possibility of extended Israeli military rule.

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