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Retired US military experts say Israel has the right to eliminate Hamas

A comprehensive report on the war in Gaza, published by The Jewish Institute for National Security of America, seeks to help American policymakers and military leaders understand this conflict and its implications.

Soldados de las Fuerzas de Defensa de Israel, en la Franja de Gaza.

IDF (Cordon Press)

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The Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) recently published a comprehensive report on the war between Israel and Hamas. The report, titled "The October 7 War: Observations, October 2023 – May 2024," was formulated by retired U.S. generals, admirals, and military legal experts and is based on primary source research, a fact-finding trip to Israel, and conversations with senior Israeli, international aid agency, and United Nations (U.N.) officials.

On its website, JINSA explains that it seeks to promote the national security interests of the United States in the Middle East, where the fundamental pillar is a solid relationship between the U.S. and Israel, since it considers that the Jewish state is the most important partner in this aspect and that it is necessary for the U.S. to be strong to be the best guarantor for Western civilization.

To achieve its goal, JINSA conducts educational programs that build ties between U.S. military leaders, Israelis, and other Middle Eastern partners, along with in-depth research and practical recommendations to influence U.S. policy.

In its report, JINSA maintains that on Oct. 7, Hamas terrorists invaded Israel and raped and killed 1,200 people and kidnapped another 252 in the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. The ensuing conflict between the Jewish state and various Iranian-backed terrorist organizations, and even Iran itself, has been extensively examined by the organization.

The report primarily addresses issues of strategy, operations, legality, concerns to mitigate harm to civilians and the provision of humanitarian assistance by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), in order to help American policymakers and military leaders understand this conflict and its implications.

The organization clarifies that although the report does not address the future political disposition of Gaza, it calls for reaching an agreement about what to do after the war.

In the report, JINSA states that Hamas is a well-organized force, equipped, trained and motivated to brutally murder as many civilians as possible, so Israel not only had the right to respond to the Oct. 7 massacre, but the goal of completely eliminating Hamas as a conventional military force in the Gaza Strip is justifiable.

The report adds that IDF operations in Gaza must be considered in the context of the Hamas' declared intention to destroy Israel and kill Jews, which has been demonstrated repeatedly with a large number of attacks, the one on Oct. 7 being the worst of them.

JINSA maintains that IDF operations prior to Oct. 7 left Hamas' capabilities intact, leading to the terrorist group being able to launch more attacks and be an important part of the multi-frontal threat facing Israel, promoted and financed primarily by Iran.

The IDF, JINSA emphasizes, has carried out its mission to eliminate the Hamas threat with operational and tactical excellence and in general compliance with the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). It adds that this occurred despite encountering a complex urban and underground battlefield built by Hamas beneath civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and places of worship.

Regarding Hamas, the report indicates that the terrorist group has intentionally and systematically violated those same laws by drawing civilians into the fighting and using them to protect its militants and assets. It is an attempt to force the IDF to inflict civilian casualties to trigger backlash against Israel from the international community.

JINSA calls on the U.S. military to study how the IDF has been fighting effectively in an extremely complex environment.