Hamas likely to reconstitute combat units after Rafah operations: US think tank

A US think tank says Hamas will very likely reconstitute its combat units and reassert its governing authority across the Gaza Strip, once Israeli forces complete the ground operation in Rafah and transition to targeted raids.

The Institute for the Study of War's assessment on Tuesday came after the chief of Israel's military indicated that its ground operation in southern part of the enclave is nearing its end.

The think tank pointed out that thousands of Palestinian fighters who had fled the Rafah area before the Israeli operation could provide Hamas commanders sufficient human resources to reorganize themselves into "composite, fully combat effective units."

Israeli forces said earlier that they had taken control of the city of Jabalia in northern Gaza. But they later resumed their military operation, saying Hamas fighters gathered again in the area.

Meanwhile, Israel announced that its forces struck a launch site containing ready-to-fire rockets in the area of Rafah and dozens of targets overnight through Wednesday.

The international non-governmental organization Doctors Without Borders said on Tuesday that one of its staff members was killed in an attack in Gaza City, adding it condemned the assault.

But the Israeli side argued that the staff member was "an Islamic Jihad terrorist."