‘Gaza war will take 6-8 months’ – Former IDF commander

Former commander of IDF’s Gaza Division says ground operation into the Hamas-ruled enclave won’t be measured in days or weeks but months.

By Susan Tawil, World Israel News

Following President Joe Biden’s solidarity visit to Israel on Wednesday, a former senior IDF Commander said he was heartened that America is on Israel’s side in the current war, while predicting that a ground operating in the Gaza Strip will take at least half a year.

“The United States is expecting us to destroy Hamas,” said Major General (res.) Gadi Shamni, former commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division and a former military attaché to the U.S.

Even without this green light from the U.S., Shamni said, Israel should not stop the war until “Hamas is utterly beaten…and Gaza demilitarized.”

Although Shamni said a ground operation in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip would be “complex,” he maintains that the IDF has the “combat soldiers, the weaponry, the fighting spirit, and the determination” to win. He anticipates a few weeks for the Israeli army to take control of Gaza.

Once this is accomplished, the former Gaza Division commander thinks it will take a further six to eight months for the IDF to kill off enemy forces. They must also capture and jail “thousands” of Hamas troops for use as “bargaining chips” to free the approximately 200 Israeli hostages being held in Gaza. This can only be accomplished with a ground war, Shamni says. “There is no choice…the IDF must move forward with full force.”

Read  IDF to distribute aid directly to Gazans – report

After all the hostages are returned and the war has ended, Israel will decide about the reconstruction of Gaza, and whether or not the Palestinian Authority should return to power there, he says.

The Major General maintains that the IDF will also need to defeat Hezbollah in the north, as well as take control of the West Bank. Things are worse now at the Lebanese border than they were before the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war, he says. Shamni feels that diplomacy will not work with Hezbollah, but that they must be pushed back by force.