US expects Israel to destroy Hamas, it will take 6-8 months: Former IDF commander

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The US expects Israel to destroy Palestinian militant group Hamas, a mission that will take 6-8 months, said Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni, a former commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division on Thursday.

“The US is expecting us to destroy Hamas,” Shamni who is also a former military attaché in the US said as cited by the Times of Israel. He added that Israel must not end this war until “Hamas is utterly beaten… and Gaza is demilitarized.”

He stressed the importance of returning all the hostages home and Israel determining the conditions for Gaza’s reconstruction, possibly with a return of Palestinian Authority rule there.

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Shamni stated that the military task is “complex”, but the IDF can do it — “it has the fighters, the weaponry, the fighting spirit and the determination.”

Completely destroying Hamas and demilitarizing Gaza is a mission that will last 6-8 months, Shamni predicted. “Conquering Gaza, taking control of Gaza… will take a few weeks.” Then Israel will have to kill and capture Hamas’s armed forces. “Thousands will have to be jailed in the Negev to serve as bargaining chips” for the over 200 captives Hamas holds hostage.

The former commander noted: “If Israel were to free [Palestinian security prisoners] as Hamas wants, that would be defeat for Israel. It would merely invite further attacks.”

He said Hamas “can absorb a lot” of punishing military strikes, which is why “the IDF must move forward with full force.”

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