Netanyahu Gives Go-Ahead for IDF Operation in Hamas’ Last Stronghold

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu | Source:

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, has given the green light for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to proceed with a military operation in Rafah, Gaza. This location is recognized as the last stronghold of Hamas and is speculated to be where hostages from Israel are being held captive. The news was publicly announced by Amichai Stein on his Twitter account on March 15, 2024.

Ophir Falk, an advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu, penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, asserting that international attempts to halt Israel’s campaign against Hamas will not deter the country’s determination to eradicate the group, free the hostages, and ensure Gaza never threatens Israel again. Falk, countering critics who deem total victory unattainable, argued that current circumstances suggest otherwise.

Falk highlighted that Israel has already neutralized 18 out of 24 Hamas battalions, incapacitated over 21,500 Hamas operatives, which is approximately two-thirds of their force, including two of their top four leaders, and significantly demolished their terror tunnels. He compared this achievement to the nine months it took U.S. forces to eliminate 5,000 ISIS fighters in Mosul. Additionally, he cited John Spencer, chairman of urban warfare studies at West Point, who lauded Israel’s military efforts and their conscious endeavor to minimize civilian casualties as “unprecedented,” even calling the IDF the “gold standard” in this aspect.

Backing his argument with data, Falk quoted retired British Col. Richard Kemp stating that the average combatant-to-civilian death ratio in Gaza stands at about 1 to 1.5. This is remarkably lower than the United Nations’ average ratio of 1 to 9 in urban warfare. Falk emphasized that Rafah is home to four of Hamas’s terror brigades and is their final stronghold. Its defeat is crucial for Israel’s victory.

Falk ended his piece with a stark comparison, likening the call for Israel to cease its efforts now to asking the Allies to halt their advance halfway to Berlin in World War II. He stressed that if Hamas is not completely eliminated, genocidal terrorists will continue to rise. Netanyahu had previously expressed a similar sentiment to new IDF cadets, stating that by defeating the murderers of October 7, they are preventing another tragedy like 9/11. Falk firmly believes that total victory is within Israel’s grasp and that anything less than that would pose a risk to the rest of the civilized world.