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Short on ‘munitions, motivation, and troops,’ Israeli army wants Gaza truce: Report

Israeli army leaders are privately pushing for a comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza, describing it as the “best way” to recover over 100 captives and to “reach a deal with Hezbollah” that would prevent the expansion of the war, according to six current and former security officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to the New York Times (NYT).

The top generals reportedly fear being dragged into a “forever war” by a political echelon that has repeatedly sabotaged attempts at reaching a ceasefire deal. According to the officials who spoke with the NYT, the “army is short of spare parts, munitions, motivation, and even troops.”

“Under-equipped for further fighting after Israel’s longest war in decades, the generals also think their forces need time to recuperate in case a land war breaks out against Hezbollah,” the report highlights.

“Fewer reservists are reporting for duty … [and] officers are increasingly distrustful of their commanders,” the officials said, adding that some tanks in Gaza “are not loaded with the full capacity of the shells that they usually carry” in an attempt to conserve ammunition supplies.

In recent weeks, top members of Israel’s security establishment have publicly spoken out against the government’s stated goal of “destroying Hamas” in Gaza before the genocidal war comes to a halt.

“This business of destroying Hamas, making Hamas disappear – it’s simply throwing sand in the eyes of the public. Hamas is an idea; Hamas is a party. It’s rooted in the hearts of the people – anyone who thinks we can eliminate Hamas is wrong,” army spokesman Daniel Hagari said on 19 June.

His words were later echoed by National Security Council head Tzachi Hanegbi, who said, “We can’t get rid of Hamas as an idea, there we need an alternative idea.”

“The military is in full support of a hostage deal and a cease-fire,” Eyal Hulata, Israel’s former national security adviser, told the NYT. “They understand that a pause in Gaza makes de-escalation more likely in Lebanon. And they have less munitions, less spare parts, less energy than they did before – so they also think a pause in Gaza gives us more time to prepare in case a bigger war does break out with Hezbollah.”

According to the report, the officials are also in agreement that “keeping Hamas in power for now in exchange for getting the hostages back [is] the least worst option for Israel.”

The revelations come as Tel Aviv has announced plans to “wind down” the fighting in Gaza to redeploy forces to the north to fight against Hezbollah. Nevertheless, a large number of troops are set to stay in Gaza for several more months to control both the Netzarim and Philadelphi corridors.