Hamas reasserts control of parts of Gaza after Israeli withdrawal

Month after IDF withdrawal from key northern Gaza regions, terror group slowly returns, paying partial wages to public workers amid IDF bombings; IDF footage shows Hamas attacking civilians in Khan Younis, blocking their move to safety

On November 11, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Hamas had "effectively lost control over the northern Gaza Strip."
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On December 11, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant remarked that the organization was "on the verge of disintegration."
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תיעוד חיי האוכלוסייה תחת שליטת חמאס בחאן יונס
תיעוד חיי האוכלוסייה תחת שליטת חמאס בחאן יונס
Hamas officials assaulting Gazan civilians in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip
However, nearly two months have passed, and Hamas has begun to resurface in areas where Israel withdrew the bulk of its forces a month ago, deploying police officers and making salary payments to some of its civil servants in Gaza City in recent days, four residents and a senior official in the terrorist group told the Associated Press on Saturday.
Four Gaza City residents told The Associated Press that in recent days, uniformed and plainclothes police officers deployed near police headquarters and other government offices, including near Al Shifa Hospital, the territory's largest. The residents said they saw the return of civil servants and subsequent Israeli airstrikes near the makeshift offices in the western and northwestern parts of Gaza City.
The return of police marks an attempt to reinstate order in the devastated city after Israel withdrew a significant number of troops from northern Gaza last month, a Hamas official told AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
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 תיעוד של פעילות הכוחות במרחב עיסא
 תיעוד של פעילות הכוחות במרחב עיסא
IDF forces operating in Gaza City
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
The official said the group's leaders had given directions to reestablish order in parts of the north where Israeli forces had withdrawn, including by helping prevent the looting of shops and houses abandoned by residents who heeded repeated Israeli evacuation orders and headed to southern Gaza.
Saeed Abdel-Bar, a resident of Gaza City, said a cousin received funds from a makeshift Hamas office that was set up to distribute $200 payouts to government employees, including police officers and municipal workers.
The partial salary payments for some government employees signal that Israel has not delivered a knockout blow to Hamas, even as Gallant has previously claimed that the IDF has killed more than 10,000 Hamas fighters.
Ahmed Abu Hadrous, a Gaza City resident, said Israeli warplanes struck the area where the makeshift office is located multiple times earlier this week, including Saturday.
Hamas officials assaulting Gazan civilians in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip
Meanwhile, the IDF released on Saturday a video showcasing Hamas's treatment of Gazans in the southern city of Khan Younis, depicting Hamas officers beating civilians waiting for aid and blocking the passage of those attempting to flee fighting zones to safety. In the footage, Hamas gunmen are seen blocking access to humanitarian aid near the Amal Hospital, assaulting civilians waiting for assistance and firing into the air to disperse them.
Another piece of footage shows armed operatives preventing civilians from evacuating westward to the humanitarian zone. "This is yet another example among many of the corruption and brutality that characterizes the lives of the population under Hamas control," said the IDF's Arabic spokesperson's announcement.
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