Hamas reasserting control over northern Gaza, warns IDF officer

As IDF operates in southern Gaza, Hamas is working to reestablish control over north Gaza, IDF officer warns.

By World Israel News Staff

The Hamas terrorist organization is working to reestablish its control over the northern Gaza Strip, even as Israel forces continue to operate in the southern Strip, an IDF officer warned Tuesday.

Speaking with Radio 103FM Tuesday morning, Colonel (res.) Hezi Nachman warned that Israel is not taking the necessary steps to prevent Hamas’ re-entrenchment in northern Gaza.

Nachman, former commander of the Menashe Brigade, recently penned a joint letter with a number of other IDF officers to the government’s war cabinet, urging them not to permit Gazans to return to their homes in northern Gaza until all Israeli captives have been returned.

“We are a forum of 150 officers from all sides of the political spectrum with a very simple demand,” Nachman said. “A directive was received to evacuate northern Gaza at the beginning of the war, and we demand that this evacuation be completed, and clearly state that no one be allowed to return home until the hostages are returned and Hamas is completely destroyed.”

While most of the population of northern Gaza, including Gaza City, evacuated southward early in the war, thousands of residents have returned – and along with them, a number of Hamas terrorists, Nachman said, bringing the total number of Gazans in the northern Strip to as much as half a million.

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“Today, there are between 300,000 to 500,000 people in northern Gaza.”

Nachman added that Israeli forces deployed in northern Gaza have been spread too thin, allowing Hamas to operate freely in the streets.

“The IDF doesn’t have enough troops to operate there effectively, Hamas is returning to power there, armed gunmen are roaming the streets, and life in Gaza is going back to the old routine, while residents of Be’eri and Netiv Ha’Asara can’t go home.”

“The IDF is doing its best, but they hade a big mistake, thinking there were just 100-150,000 residents left in northern Gaza.”

“It’s impossible to distinguish Hamas terrorists from the general public. That’s why we demand that the entirety of northern Gaza be evacuated. We can’t allow for the market in Jabalya to look the way it does.”

“We need to do this, otherwise we will pay for it with interest,” describing the entire area as a combat zone with numerous missions that still need to be taken care of.”

Last month, the IDF claimed that Hamas’ military capabilities in the northern Gaza Strip had been completely dismantled.

“We have completed the dismantling of Hamas’ frameworks in the north of the Gaza Strip, and we will continue to deepen the achievement and strengthen the barrier and the defense elements at the border,” IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters in early January.