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Israel's War Against Hamas: An Uncertain Duration and a Rising Death Toll

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BNN Correspondents
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Israel's War Against Hamas: An Uncertain Duration and a Rising Death Toll

During the Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, General Halewi, in the presence of soldiers, made a powerful declaration. He noted the escalating figures of dead and wounded terrorists, as well as those surrendering, indicating the crumbling of the terrorist system and the necessity to intensify efforts. This statement came amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, which is proving to be a test of endurance for all involved.

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The Death Toll of Hamas

On the same day, Hanegbi, the head of Israel's National Security Council, provided his estimate in a Channel 12 interview on the number of Hamas terrorists killed in the Gaza Strip. He cautiously suggested that the count could be over 7,000. This figure, he stressed, might be an underestimation as the full extent of casualties, particularly in collapsed areas and tunnels, remains obscured.

No Deadline for the End of Operations

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Furthermore, Hanegbi added that the Americans have not determined a deadline for the cessation of operations in Gaza. This suggests that the conflict with Hamas may extend beyond weeks, and its duration remains uncertain. The Times of Israel was cited, where Hanegbi expressed his belief that Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas, might be pushing his organization to fight until the bitter end.

Potential Shift in Hamas Leadership

However, he also speculated about a potential shift in Hamas leadership. Hanegbi conjectured that if Sinwar is killed as planned, his successors might choose to abandon Gaza to evade a similar fate. This presents a possible turning point in this enduring conflict and the potential for a shift in power dynamics.

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Continued Battles in Gaza

Amid these revelations, the Israel Defense Forces announced the death of five soldiers, and the operation in Jabalia in northern Gaza continues. There has been an urgent appeal for civilians to leave the center and other neighborhoods in the southern city of Khan Younis. This comes as Israel broadens its ground assault following the collapse of a truce with Hamas on December 1.

International Response

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Internationally, pro-Palestinian activists and supporters rallied in the National March for Palestine in London. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is expediting an emergency arms sale of about 14,000 tank shells to Israel, bypassing the standard review period by congressional committees. This move has drawn attention and mixed reactions worldwide.

The Human Cost of the Conflict

Amid the political maneuvers and military operations, the human cost of the Israel-Hamas war is stark. Over 17,700 Palestinian people have died in Gaza during this conflict, according to the latest figures from the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled territory. As the conflict rages on, the outcome remains uncertain, and the human toll continues to rise.

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