Top Israeli military officials say defeating Hamas could come at the cost of the lives of hostages.
Some officials told NYT they don't think Israel's two goals are both feasible.
Families of hostages say the return of their loved ones should take precedence over erasing Hamas.
High-ranking Israeli military officials are increasingly concerned that if Israel has any hope of defeating Hamas, it may have to do so at the cost of the lives of remaining Israeli hostages in Gaza, The New York Times reported.
The Times reported that some Israeli commanders are worried the country's twin goals of destroying Hamas and freeing the hostages are not both feasible.
Instead, The Times reported, some Israeli military officials believe that Israel may have to use diplomatic channels — as opposed to military strategy — to recover the hostages from Gaza.
Israel vowed to "annihilate" Hamas after the militant group in October carried out the worst terrorist attack on Israeli soil in the nation's history, killing nearly 1,200 people and taking more than 200 civilians hostage.
The Israeli armed forces have carried out a brutal and sustained ground invasion across the Gaza Strip in the months since, but The Times reported that they've made less progress than they hoped for.
Hamas has proven more difficult to erase than originally anticipated, in part because the group operates a vast network of underground tunnels and infrastructure and is backed, both financially and militarily, by Iran.
The Israel Defense Forces have taken out many Hamas militants and commanders since launching their counterassault last year. But as of December, three of its top leaders remain at large, including Mohammed Deif, the head of Hamas' military wing who masterminded the October 7 attacks.
In addition to Israeli military sources interviewed by The Times, European officials have also criticized Israel's military strategy and urged it to reconsider engaging in peace talks.
Their concerns are echoed by the families of hostages still believed to be alive, who say the safe return of their loved ones should take precedence over destroying Hamas.
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said over the weekend that 25,105 Gazans have died since the war started, and 62,681 have been wounded.
Read the original article on Business Insider