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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Ramallah - Asharq Al-Awsat

Israeli Army Expects Calm in Gaza to Last for Years

An Israeli soldier uses a weapon amid clashes with Palestinians in the West Bank. Reuters file photo

The Israeli military believes that calm achieved in the Gaza Strip after the last round of fighting is estimated to last for a long time due to the Israeli army’s capacity to deter attacks from both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

A report by Israel’s Kan 11 channel said that these estimates are based on several factors, including Israel’s deterrence capacities, Hamas’ political and economic calculations in the Strip, and the Israeli army’s success in separating the Islamic Jihad from Hamas.

The report said the Army Chief of Staff, Aviv Kohavi, believes that his forces were capable of deterring Hamas during the May 2021 war, and also the Islamic Jihad following the three-day clashes that began on August 5.

Israel had then killed 49 Palestinians, including leaders in the Islamic Jihad’s affiliated al-Quds Brigades, in addition to children and women.

According to Israeli security assessments, the May 2021 war on the Gaza Strip offered economic facilities that helped Gaza's economy grow.

Hamas reportedly fears losing these civil and economic services, which Israel is now offering to Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Israel was capable of deterring the Islamic Jihad during the last round of clashes this month because the group was operating without Hamas.

Senior military and security officials said that the calm recently established in Gaza will last for a long time because Hamas is aware it will lose economic facilities in the event of a confrontation with Israel and because the Islamic Jihad will not engage in another battle without direct support from Hamas.

The Israeli channel quoted Kochavi as saying that Hamas is currently deterred from engaging in a new war with Israel while the chances of the Islamic Jihad’s acting alone against the Israeli army have become weak.

“Hamas is deterred, and we have struck the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank and Gaza,” Kochavi said, recalling that Israel launched several attacks on the Jihad’s structure in the West Bank, including the arrest of its officials and the killing of its armed members.

In a previous statement, Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev said that one of the Israeli military’s achievements during the recent military operation in the Gaza Strip is that Hamas decided not to join the fight alongside the Islamic Jihad.

He explained that Hamas’ decision is mainly due to economic reasons as the Movement desires to keep 15,000 Palestinian workers from Gaza from entering Israel daily.

Early this month, the Israeli military launched airstrikes against targets inside Gaza during which it killed Taysir al-Jabari, a top Islamic Jihad leader, and Khaled Mansour, the Islamic Jihad commander for southern Gaza.

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