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Former Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon. (Photo: Itzike – Own work, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Ramon said that Israel achieved a “tactical victory but a strategic defeat. We did not achieve any of the goals set by the government.”

Former Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said in a radio interview that his country has been strategically defeated in Gaza, the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported on Thursday.

Asked by the show hosts Ben Capist and Yinon Magal to comment on the current status of the war, Ramon said that Israel achieved a “tactical victory but a strategic defeat. We did not achieve any of the goals set by the government.”

Ramon criticized the plan to attack Rafah after moving “a million and a half refugees to the south,” saying: “It’s not a US problem, it’s our problem how we deal with them.”

According to Ramon, the main goal of dismantling Hamas was not achieved and the Palestinian Resistance movement is still active on both the civilian and military fronts. 

“We said there would be military pressure to release the hostages, this did not happen either,” the former minister added..

“In my opinion, after six months, in light of everything that has happened, (…)  this is the moment that the Chief of Staff will take responsibility and resign,” Ramon said. 

‘Not Feasible in Near Future’

Similar opinions were expressed on Wednesday by unnamed “veteran combat officers” cited in a report by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. 

According to the report, following the Israeli army’s withdrawal from Khan Yunis, the Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas has regained control over the largest city in the Gaza Strip.

From a military perspective, the situation for Israel appears even more challenging. According to officers, Hamas cannot be dismantled now. In the best case scenario, the report noted, it will be defeated in 2026 or 2027.

The military sources reportedly stated that “we will not be permanently in the Strip. We will return to many raids deep in the territory.” The officials admitted that even the alleged “achievements of the forces that fought in Gaza are being eroded”.

Withdrawal from Khan Yunis

Israeli military spokespersons announced on Sunday the withdrawal of ground forces from the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported.

Israeli Army Radio reported that the 98th Division, comprising three brigades, withdrew from the Khan Yunis area after four months of conflict, with the Nahal Brigade remaining in the Netzarim Corridor to control movement between northern and southern Gaza.

“The 98th Division, with its three brigades, withdrew from Khan Younis last night after the end of the operation there after fighting that lasted four months,” the Army Radio reported.

Maariv confirmed that only one brigade remains in Gaza to prevent Palestinians from returning northwards. 

‘Forced to Withdraw’

Al-Qassam Brigades announced in a statement that Israeli forces were forced to a premature withdrawal from various areas, due to successful operations carried out by the Palestinian Resistance. 

The military wing of the Hamas movement said that the occupation entered most areas of the Gaza Strip and destroyed them completely, praising that it had succeeded in dismantling the Brigades. 

However, according to the statement, every time the Israeli army returned to areas that were supposedly under its control, it was surprised with qualitative resistance operations.

The Brigades added that the Israeli occupation army was forced to end its operations even before achieving its goals.

The announcement of the withdrawal from Khan Yunis comes after an operation carried out by the Al-Qassam Brigades on Saturday, which reportedly killed 14 Israeli soldiers and injured many more.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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