**Hamas Resurgence**: Israel Withdraws Forces as Police Officers and Civil Servants Deploy in Gaza City – What Happens Next?

RAFAH, Gaza Strip – Despite Israel’s deadly air and ground campaign over the past four months, signs of a Hamas resurgence in Gaza City have emerged, challenging Israel’s aim to crush the militant group. Radar police officers were observed near police headquarters and other government buildings in Gaza City recently. They were deployed to assist in maintaining order in areas of the city where Israeli forces had withdrawn, including preventing looting of abandoned shops and homes.

An anonymous Hamas official mentioned that the group’s leadership had given directives to reestablish order in northern parts of Gaza affected by the withdrawal of Israeli forces. This resurgence includes helping to pay partial salaries to government employees, with $200 payouts distributed to some civil servants, including police officers and municipal workers, from a makeshift Hamas office near Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

It is clear from these recent developments that the partial salary payments of $200 signal Hamas’ resilience, indicating that Israel has not delivered a knockout blow to the group, despite claiming to have killed more than 9,000 Hamas fighters. The airstrikes on the makeshift office location earlier this week are also a clear indication of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

In southern Gaza, at least 11 people were injured when Israeli military fired smoke bombs at displaced people sheltering at the headquarters of the Palestinian Red Crescent in the southern city of Khan Younis. This came after a 12-day siege laid by the Israeli military on the Red Crescent’s facilities, which has resulted in the deaths of 43 people and injuries to 153 others.

Despite the ongoing conflict, international mediators are working to close wide gaps between Israel and Hamas over a proposed cease-fire deal put forth this week, nearly four months since Hamas and other militants captured about 250 hostages during their deadly Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel that triggered the war.

However, the conflict has resulted in vast devastation, with more than half of Gaza’s population displaced and a significant portion pushed to starvation. The tension in the region has escalated, as the United States has launched an air assault on Iranian-backed militias and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in retaliation for a drone strike that killed three U.S. troops in Jordan.

With the situation in Gaza continuing to worsen, it is evident that the conflict between Israel and Hamas remains a volatile and contentious issue that requires urgent attention and resolution. Despite the ongoing efforts of international mediators, the path towards peace and stability in the Gaza Strip remains elusive. The suffering of the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire highlights the urgency of finding a lasting and equitable solution to end the violence and restore hope to the region.