According to IDF Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, the Israeli government is currently deciding whether to go to war with Hamas in light of the escalating tensions. “Although we have only used air force and artillery so far without ground forces, this is an option which might take place in the next few days,” he said on a phone conference. “It is clear that a ground forces operation is more complicated, as it would result in many more casualties on both the Palestinian side and the Israeli side.”
He told Breaking Israel News, that using accurate intelligence, the IDF will continue to minimize civilian casualties on the Palestinian side. “In some cases, we contact the local people so they understand their area might be bombed by Israel and because of this, there are very few casualties up till now.” However, Amidror warned, severe escalation would be problematic, as it would mean more collateral damage.
“We thank the IDF for its continued efforts in keeping Israel safe and for doing everything it can to minimize casualties and trauma, especially in southern Israel where residents have only seconds to take cover in bomb shelters,” said Dr. John A.I Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA.
“Many buildings will collapse and the number of people lost by explosions in buildings will be huge because Hamas is fighting in and underneath civilian buildings.”
Amidror, Former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel and the Head of the National Security Council, analyzed the discussions taking place about Gazan tensions and escalations within the Israeli Security Cabinet. Amidror served for 36 years in senior IDF posts, including commander of the Military Colleges, military secretary to the Defense Minister, director of the Intelligence Analysis Division in Military Intelligence, and chief intelligence officer of the Northern Command.
The Security Cabinet meeting occurred in the context of more than 150 rockets fired by Hamas into southern Israel overnight Wednesday-Thursday, with the IDF retaliating against hundreds of Hamas infrastructure targets, including a weapons manufacturing and storage facility.
While ceasefire talks were being negotiated earlier this week, Thursday morning Egyptian intelligence officially informed Israel that Hamas opposes calm. According to Amidror, during and after a potential operation with Hamas, the Egyptian partnership “will be important.” He stressed that while there is dialogue between Israel and Egypt, there is no coordination and the decision whether to go to war will be the unilateral decision of Israel.
“It is so far unknown what the policy and decision of the cabinet will be,” said Amidror, who claimed that one voice within the cabinet believes that Israel is in a strong position to enter into another round of war with Hamas, which has escalated rockets under the slogan of resistance to the ‘occupation.’ Amidror questioned why Hamas is “building tunnels and missiles instead of infrastructure” calling this resistance “illogical.”
He maintained that the fact that Hamas launched a rocket Thursday afternoon toward Beersheba, which is far from the Gaza Strip border, means that Hamas is ready to take the risk of going to war.
Another voice within the cabinet believes that Israel has more important issues to focus on, such as containing Iran in Syria.
Amidror added that there may be a rift in the current leadership of Hamas, referring to a recent photograph of Hamas leaders with the military commander of the Hamas wing missing from the photograph. “There is a question about Hamas’ ability to make united decisions in Gaza, which is part of the issues being considered by the cabinet,” said Amidror.
In light of strong American administration support for Israel over the last several months, the military analyst maintained that going to war might be easier with the Trump administration’s support, but the views of Washington are not a main factor being discussed in the cabinet. “The main questions are consequences and costs of a such operations and decisions.”
The final decision of the cabinet, he said, will depend on the understanding between the Defense Minister and the Prime Minister. He assured, “the balance of power is on our side.”