U.S. Intelligence: Majority of Hamas Terrorists Still Active Despite Israeli Offensives

By Yoni Weiss

Israeli tanks seen near the Israel-Gaza border, Tuesday. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

According to a Politico report Wednesday, U.S. intelligence indicates that despite months of Israeli offensives in Gaza, only 30% to 35% of Hamas terrorists who were part of the group before the Oct. 7 attack have been killed, leaving approximately 65% of the terror organization’s pre-war terrorists still intact.

The report cites a person familiar with U.S. intelligence, who revealed that Hamas has managed to withstand the Israeli offensive by recruiting thousands of new terrorists over the last several months. This intelligence assessment has fueled growing concerns within the Biden administration that Israel’s strategy in Gaza is self-defeating and may ultimately enable Hamas to regain control of the region.

“We want to encourage a deeper focus on the connection between the ongoing military operations and, ultimately, the strategic endgame,” said a senior administration official. “We’re going to keep pressing on that point.”

The report highlights the increasing frustration among U.S. officials with Israel’s refusal to change course, despite private warnings from Washington.

Biden administration officials have told the outlet that they are worried Israel is not winning the long game. “The Biden administration fears Israel is disastrously squandering its opportunity for victory against Hamas, losing its best chance to eliminate the group’s hold on Gaza and threat to the Israeli people,” Politico reported.

The article cites retired U.S. generals who warn that Israel’s approach risks repeating mistakes made by the U..S in Iraq, where an insurgency grew out of a botched occupation. They argue that Israel has not deployed a large enough force to clear, capture, and hold dense urban areas in Gaza, leaving a vacuum for Hamas to re-establish its presence.

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