Several months after the Hamas terror attacks on Oct. 7, the Palestinian militant group continues to suffer significant losses against the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the Gaza Strip. Israel has reportedly killed approximately 5,000 Hamas fighters out of an estimated 30,000-strong force, the group's military infrastructure has been significantly degraded, with Israel claiming it has struck more than 22,000 targets in Gaza, with Hamas showing signs of breaking as a result of the continuous onslaught.
In comparison to the losses suffered by Hamas, Israel claims just over 100 of its own troops have been killed in combat. While accurate reporting from the battlefield remains a major challenge, it is clear that the IDF is in a commanding position in Gaza, and Israeli political and military leaders are already shifting focus to the northern border with Lebanon and the perpetual threat posed by Lebanese Hezbollah.
Hamas will not be completely defeated
Yet even if Israel is able to continue attenuating Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing responsible for the Oct. 7 attack, the group will not be completely defeated. Perhaps most troubling, the ideology of an organization that was once considered a national liberation organization — albeit one heavily influenced by Islamist ideology and the Muslim Brotherhood — could transform into a far more globalized movement in the aftermath of the conflict in the Gaza Strip. There is now worldwide interest in Hamas in a way that there never was before, and the group's ideology has transcended the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, framing the issue in a new light to potential new supporters.