The military correspondent of Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Yossi Yehoshua, said the Hamas movement and its leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, have been manipulating Israel in recent days with regards to the humanitarian pause.
Yehoshua added that Hamas is determining the terms of the deals with Israel and the number of Palestinians released, as well as the identity of the Israeli prisoners of war it wishes to release.
“Our enemies are looking at us from all sides to see how we are behaving and how we prefer a ceasefire over continuing fighting in exchange for the recovery of a small number of kidnapped people. This does not serve as deterrence, and this comes after the army recovered from the shock it was exposed to on October 7,” he said.
Yehoshua asked why the occupation army did not launch a large-scale ground attack towards Khan Yunis and Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip at the same time that it launched its assault on northern Gaza.
“Many officers wonder: If we do not invade the southern Gaza Strip after 50 days of war, when will this happen?” he said, noting the “hours of humiliation” that Israel has been subjected to on Saturday when Hamas decided to delay the release of the second batch of prisoners.
He quoted military forums as saying that the war will not bear fruit if Rafah is not occupied Israel does not take control of the border with Egypt. Once it has control of Rafah, Israel must threaten to cut off all of Gaza’s lifelines if all prisoners of war are not released.
Source : MEMO