Israel announced that its forces left northern Gaza in early January, by declaring it has dismantled Hamas’ activities in the area, and currently it’s focusing its military operations in central and southern Gaza, especially in the city of Khan Younes.

Omar H Rahman, an expert on Israel-Palestine with the Middle East Council on Global Affairs think tank, told Al Jazeera: “I think [the rocket attacks] sends a message to Israelis at large that their goal at eradicating Hamas is failing,”

“If you can still fire rockets and if you can still attack troops – in the north of all places where Israel has laid siege for 112 days – then [the war aim of destroying Hamas] is failing.”

Despite Israel claimed to have found out a major Hamas tunnel, Israel is not willing to end the aggression on Gaza precisely because it has not destroyed the movement, neither impeded its attacks.

“I would estimate that Israel doesn’t have the full picture of where the tunnels connect from and how. And the fact we still see attacks from northern Gaza means that the tunnel system is still operating,” journalist Oren Ziv told Al Jazeera.

Tunnels in the Gaza Strip are hundreds of kilometres long, they have been built in the 80s but the Palestinian political movements have worked by making them more efficient when Israel besieged the coastal enclave.

Despite the high risk to kill the Israeli hostages, Israeli forces have tried to destroy the tunnels in Gaza and flood them with seawater.

“The Israeli government continues to oversell what it can accomplish through military means. It said that it can release Israeli hostages through military means, but with the exception of one hostage that has not proven to be the case,” said Hugh Lovatt, an expert on Israel-Palestine relations with the European Council on Foreign Relations and reported by Al Jazeera.

“Military action has actually killed hostages,” he told Al Jazeera.

“He said that Israel claims to have killed 9,000 Hamas fighters out of a total of more than 25,000 Palestinians killed in the enclave, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. However, 70 percent of the victims are believed to be women and children”, reported Al Jazeera.

“My feeling is that Israel is treating every dead male [in Gaza] as Hamas,” Lovatt told Al Jazeera.

Lovatt claimed this official number of Hamas fighters killed as unrealistic and said that even if was  accurate, still the majority of them is fighting.

The CIA claims that Hamas has about 35,000 fighters in Gaza. As a consequence, Israel is very far from destroying the movement.

Analysts and politicians agree that Israel cannot destroy Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

READ: Macron warns of mammoth conflict between Israel and Gaza

“Israel is capable of reducing Hamas’ military capacity, but its collective punishment on Gaza’s civilian population is feeding the generational drivers of resistance in every way possible,” Rahman, from the Middle East Council for Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera.

“And when it comes to capacity, that is one thing that can always be rebuilt.”

Al Jazeera/Levantis

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