Hamas civil servants operating again in Gaza City: report

Hamas civil servants operating again in Gaza City: report
Civil servants in Gaza are moving back into the enclave's largest city, a report has said, as Hamas seems to have taken advantage of Israel withdrawing troops.
2 min read
04 February, 2024
Hamas' security apparatus operates separately from its armed wing [Getty]

The Palestinian Hamas group has partially moved back into Gaza City despite Israeli bombardment, Israeli media reported.

"Signs of a Hamas resurgence in Gaza’s largest city underscore the terror group’s resilience despite Israel’s deadly air and ground campaign," the Times of Israel reported.

Hamas may have reportedly taken advantage of Israel pulling out some troops from the northern part of the enclave, where Gaza City is located.

TOI cited four Gaza City residents who told The Associated Press that they saw uniformed and plainclothes police officers near government offices and police headquarters, many of which have either been destroyed or severely damaged by Israeli strikes.

A Hamas official who spoke to AP said the return of police personnel is aimed at reinstating order in the war-ravaged city. The police are separate from Hamas' military apparatus.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Hamas leaders had given directions to bring back order in parts of northern Gaza by helping prevent crimes such as lootings.  

The re-emergence of Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, has prompted renewed Israeli airstrikes on the city, TOI said.

Israel began its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip in late October, weeks after the war erupted on October 7.

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Hamas that day carried out a surprise attack in southern Israel, killing about 1,140 people and taking more than 200 others hostage, according to Israeli figures.

A relentless Israeli air and ground offensive in the enclave has since killed more than 27,000 people, mostly civilians, and has rendered much of the territory uninhabitable.

While Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, some experts have said it was impossible to completely dismantle the group, with some of Tel Aviv’s allies warning that such a war could last for years.