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Hamas cannot be destroyed – Israeli Military spokesman admits

Israeli 'Daniel hagari

Israel’s top military spokesman has admitted that the Palestinian militant group, Hamas cannot be destroyed drawing a sharp rebuke from Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The idea that it is possible to destroy Hamas, to make Hamas vanish — that is throwing sand in the eyes of the public, Hamas cannot be destroyed” Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Read Adm. Daniel Hagari said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 13.

Telling the public that there will be no terror in Gaza, no military operatives, no rockets and no armed men is a lie,” Hagari said in a separate interview with CNN affiliate Kan 11.

“There will be terror in Gaza. Hamas is an idea, deeply rooted in the hearts of the residents of Gaza. To replace those who handle civil services and distribute or steal food, something else needs to be established. This is a decision for the political echelon, and the army will implement it.” he said

Hagari’s comments prompted a response from Netanyahu’s office, which said Israel’s security cabinet “has defined the destruction of Hamas’ military and governing capabilities” as one of the aims of its war in Gaza.

“The IDF, of course, is committed to this,” Netanyahu’s office said.

The IDF later said Hagari was only referring to Hamas “as an ideology and as an idea.”

Netanyahu has come under increasing pressure from members of his government and Israel’s allies, including the United States, to devise a strategy for the post-war governance of Gaza after Israel’s devastating bombardment of the enclave.

In response to Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel, when militants killed more than 1,200 people and took some 250 others hostage, Israel started its war in Gaza with the primary goals of recovering the hostages, destroying Hamas’ ability to govern there and ensuring another attack could not be launched from the Palestinian territory.

But after eight months of war, Hagari’s comments echoed the growing fears that Israel’s military campaign may be unable to achieve those aims and that the group could remain a potent ideological force, despite Netanyahu’s claim to have killed more than 14,000 Hamas fighters.

Israeli government spokesperson David Mencer said that eliminating Hamas’ “military and government capabilities” does not “necessarily mean” killing every member of the group.

Mencer told reporters that Hagari’s comments had not harmed the war effort, but stressed it was the military’s responsibility to carry out “the will of the elected government.”

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