Israel mission to destroy Hamas makes no sense militarily: terrorism expert

The situation needs something more comprehensive, and it needs support and rebuilding for the people of Gaza once it is finished, said Justin Crump

Screengrab of the head of the UK-based strategic risk consultancy Sibylline and terrorist expert, Justin Crump (photo: DW)
Screengrab of the head of the UK-based strategic risk consultancy Sibylline and terrorist expert, Justin Crump (photo: DW)
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DW

The current fighting in southern Gaza has been described as the most intense of the war so far, and Israel, according to terrorism expert Justin Crump, head of the UK-based strategic risk consultancy Sibylline, has been using "very similar tactics" against Hamas in southern Gaza as it used in the north.

Crump told DW the strategy was also similar to what was used by the US and UK during the 2003 invasion of Iraq — moving into urban areas from different directions, securing territory and using it to track down what Israel regards as high-value targets.

"This is about seizing key bits of ground inside the city," Crump said. "Then having areas you can operate safely from and striking out, and that's all related to Israel's desire to go after particular target areas where they think Hamas are in Khan Younis."

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said over 17,000 Palestinians have died since the beginning of the Israeli military operation. Israel began its military attacks on Gaza after Hamas terror attacks in southern Israel in October killed over 1,200 people.

But Israel's stated goal of destroying Hamas, which Israel, Germany, the United States and several other countries designate a terrorist organization, "makes no sense militarily", Crump said.

"The military can do the best job they can. They could eliminate the leadership. They can destroy missile launching facilities. But they won't eliminate the idea of Hamas," he said. "Some Gazans are turning against Hamas and did before the events of two months ago. Other people in Gaza, of course, sympathize with Hamas. They will resent Israel for these actions, of course, and it's going to fuel the cycle as it always has done unless there is a very big change at the end of this.

"A military mission alone will not solve this problem," Crump said regarding Gaza and the security situation for Israel. "It needs something more comprehensive, and it needs support for the people of Gaza once this [war] is finished and the rebuilding."

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