Skip to main content

Hamas reemerges in northern Gaza weeks after Israel said it's dismantled

Hamas is firmly established in Palestinian society allowing it to continue to regroup after successive Israeli campaigns, as long as the conditions that allowed for its establishment in the first place continue to exist.
This picture shows Al-Maqoussi towers area on February 3, 2024, in the aftermath of Israeli bombardment on Gaza City, as battles continue between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Over the past month fighting between Hamas and Israel has resumed in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. After Israel had claimed that Hamas was dismantled in the north on Jan. 6, this fighting spelled Hamas' reemergence in the area, leading to Israeli forces being deployed in areas from which they had previously withdrawn. 

The resumption came after several Israeli generals voiced their concern that Hamas started regrouping days after the Israeli newspaper Haaretz stated that the majority of tunnels in Gaza are still intact. Most importantly, the renewed fighting shows how the current Israeli war policy is failing to achieve its goal of "erasing Hamas."

Israel declared at the beginning of the war that it aimed to eradicate Hamas' military capabilities by destroying its armed wing. The invasion began with a campaign of intense bombardment of vast areas of what Israel referred to as the north of the Gaza Strip. This area included all the fertile land to the north of the Wadi Gaza stream, which includes Gaza City, the biggest, most populated city within the strip and the center of life in the area. Following the intense airstrikes, Israel invaded from the west of Gaza City, intending to finish off Hamas and free the hostages.

Toward the end of December, after the Israeli military had invaded the entire area to the north of Wadi Gaza, Israel declared that Hamas was eradicated from the area. In the process, the Israeli military's campaign focused attention on the two leading hospitals, Al-Shifa Hospital and Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, going as far as claiming that Al-Shifa was the command center of Hamas. Yet despite all these efforts and the loss of lives in Gaza, the only thing that was for sure destroyed in the north was the civilian infrastructure needed to continue life; meanwhile, Hamas, despite all its losses, seems to be reemerging and still capable of fighting the Israelis in the north.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.