The Israel Defense Forces are winning against Hamas but need more time.
You may have missed it amid the media defeatism, but Israel is winning its war in Gaza. Hamas’s losses are mounting, and support for the Israeli war effort has endured around the world longer than Hamas expected.
The war is far from over, but Hamas’s southern stronghold of Khan Younis is falling. Civilians have streamed out and Hamas’s remaining forces in the city’s west are encircled. They face an Israeli advance on all sides, and Israel is now fighting below ground in force.
Israel needs time to achieve victory, and Hamas is counting on Western powers to deny it that time. The 2009 Gaza war was brought to an end after three weeks, the 2014 war after six weeks. The “CNN strategy” of using human shields to gain media sympathy has worked every time for Hamas.
So far not this time. Oct. 7 was too brutal. This war has passed 120 days, and the U.S. and Europe refuse to call for a cease-fire.
Israel says it has killed, incapacitated or arrested some 20,000 of Hamas’s 30,000 men and dismantled 17 of Hamas’s 24 Gaza combat battalions. The losses have prevented Hamas from mounting military maneuvers and quieted its rocket fire, down more than 95% from the war’s early days.
Israel has freed 110 hostages, but its leaders are under pressure at home while 132 are still captive. The Biden Administration is using that domestic pressure as diplomatic leverage to promote a hostage deal and long pause in the war that it hopes will become a cease-fire. Never mind that leaving Hamas in control of territory is the definition of Israeli defeat. No matter the length of the pause, Israel would likely have to resume fighting afterward.
That may be why Hamas has resisted the U.S. pause and hostage-deal proposal and instead demands a cease-fire guarantee that Israel can’t give. Recall that Hamas consented to the first hostage deal after Israel took Gaza City faster than anticipated. An Israeli advance now could push the terrorists to Rafah, Hamas’s last major refuge, at the edge of Gaza.