The US believes Israel could wrap up large-scale military operations in the southern Gaza Strip by January, and then shift to more targeted attacks on specific Hamas terrorists and leaders, CNN reports.
Citing multiple senior administration officials, the cable news network says the White House is concerned how the IDF’s offensive will play out in the coming weeks and has warned Israel to limit damage and civilian casualties. But a senior official quoted in the report says they aren’t comfortable using the word “receptive” to describe Israel’s response to the US advice.
A senior administration official also says Israel appears unlikely to achieve its objective of preventing Hamas from being able to carry out another attack like October 7 by the end of the year, and that Israeli forces will continue to pursue that goal as part of a “longer-term campaign” when the fighting evolves to a new phase.
“We are in a high-intensity operation in the coming weeks, then probably moving to a low-intensity mode,” an Israeli official tells CNN, confirming the expected transition.
Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Israel’s war cabinet that it likely doesn’t have months to fight Hamas, as domestic and international pressure mounts on US President Joe Biden’s administration to end the war.