Assessing that Hamas will continue to rule the Gaza Strip for the foreseeable future, the IDF is training for the possible reconquering of the entire coastal Palestinian territory in a future confrontation with the Islamic organization, the Times of Israel has learned.

Despite the harsh blow Hamas and Islamic Jihad sustained in Operation Protective Edge last July and August, Israel’s military command is convinced that another round of fighting between Israel and Gaza is only a matter of time.

The Israeli leadership sees no prospect of the Palestinian Authority gaining control of the Strip, as it continues to demand, and would prefer to face a weakened Hamas than the anarchy of unruly organizations, some of which harbor extremist Islamist ideologies. […]