How strong is Hamas

Israeli soldiers fought bloody street fights with Palestinian militants in Gaza City. Their advance into the Tel Hawwa district was the deepest ever into the heart of the densely populated city. The offensive in the Gaza Strip has obviously affected the radical Islamic Hamas noticeably.

Hamas doesn't speak

more with one voice

The first cracks are showing in the top leadership of Hamas. She no longer speaks with one voice. Hamas headquarters in Damascus wants their men to continue fighting in the Gaza Strip. In contrast, local Hamas leaders in Gaza and most civilians see a ceasefire as a straw of salvation. According to Israeli intelligence services, Hamas has suffered severe blows, but is not yet ready to throw in the towel.

Hamas fires less

Missiles aimed at Israel

The intelligence chiefs reported to the government what they knew about Hamas. After that, militants fire fewer missiles at Israel than expected. At the start of the offensive, Hamas fired up to 80 rockets a day at Israel; there are now “only” around 20. Reasons for this include the death and injury of militants as well as the destruction of weapons stores and smugglers' tunnels under the border with Egypt. Army intelligence chief Amos Jadlin warned that Hamas still had enough potential to harm Israel.

Hamas is prepared

for a house-to-house fight

Hamas is said to have a good 16,500 well-trained soldiers under arms. Your mini army is trained in city and street fighting. Snipers and suicide bombers are already waiting. Even before the fighting began on December 27, there was speculation about the deadly traps of Hamas. Much of it has happened. The Israeli army showed footage of a school that had been fitted with a 200 kilogram prepared explosives trap. The fact that only nine Israeli soldiers have been killed so far is mainly due to the fact that the army has not yet advanced into the densely populated refugee camps.

Hamas has almost everyone

Second resident behind

Not even half of the 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are Hamas members or sympathizers. In view of the bloodshed, the larger half are increasingly allergic to the harassment from Damascus. "Those who can't stand Hamas say that Hamas doesn't care about the people, that it is more concerned with money and power, and that Hamas is therefore ready to fight to the last drop of blood," says one man who refuses to give his name for fear of revenge later. Because even opponents of Hamas do not believe that one can get rid of the movement that belongs to the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood. “If you want to eradicate Hamas, you have to kill almost half a million people. That's a joke, "says the man.

Hamas leadership loses

Influence on militants

Hamas leaders in Gaza are apparently losing control of the militant wing. Its leaders have been in hiding for 17 days. Israel suspects them in a bunker under the Schifa hospital or in empty diplomatic missions. “Fear is the last thing Hamas thinks about. We only fear God and not Israel, ”said Hamas MP Mushir al-Masri. When asked why he was hiding, he replied: "We have received an order from Allah to hide so that the enemy does not get a simple meal." (Dpa / AP)