Though Hamas started the latest round of conflict with Israel, it seems to have calculated–wrongly–that Israel would not launch a ground invasion. Members of the Hamas terrorist organization are reportedly so desperate for food after three-and-a-half weeks of war with Israel that they are seizing United Nations food coupons to keep their members fed–and to prevent them from surrendering to Israeli soldiers out of sheer hunger.
The Jerusalem Post reports that senior Israeli military planners have concluded that Hamas is operating from a position of weakness, having lost much of its secretive tunnel network–and at least some of its popular support:
In recent days, Hamas members seized UN food coupons and prevented Gazan civilians from receiving the aid, in order to try and keep field cell members fed. The Islamist regime refuses to publish most of the names of its members who were killed fighting the IDF, and disposes of their bodies quickly, to avoid harming morale. It has tried to ban Gazan civilians from giving interviews to the foreign press during humanitarian truces.
The IDF has seen Hamas tunnel fighters surrender because they have run out of food.
The Post‘s national security correspondent, Yaakov Lappin, cautions that Hamas is not yet “near the breaking point,” and that it is drawing on additional reserves from across Gaza. Still, he writes: “Despite their rhetoric, some senior Hamas leaders are privately asking themselves whether the war they began is worth the price.”