Topic:

Hamas

Lessons from the Failed “Gaza Initiative” of 1949

Seventy years ago, while the Arab-Israeli Lausanne peace talks were deadlocked, a pioneering and creative diplomatic initiative was aired to deal with the fate of Gaza and its Palestinian Arab refugees. This US initiative was a serious effort to bring about a settlement between Egypt and Israel while contributing to a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. Though it ended in failure, it provided valuable lessons.

Handing Gaza to Abbas Will Solve Nothing

Overthrowing Hamas and handing rule in Gaza to Mahmoud Abbas will not bring about a solution to the Gaza problem. In fact, it was Yasser Arafat, Abbas’s predecessor as PLO leader, who transformed Gaza into an ineradicable terrorist hotbed by flouting the Oslo Accords that he had signed. The solution to the Gaza problem does not lie in Ramallah but rather in the Strip’s historic hinterland – the Sinai Peninsula.

Israel’s Dilemma in Gaza

At this strategic watershed moment, one can discern the logic of the policy that has guided the Netanyahu government’s approach to Gaza over the past decade – that it is in Israel’s interest for Hamas to remain in control until the group is rejected by its own people.

Hamas Is Willing to Risk War to Avoid Economic Collapse

| March 10, 2019

Tensions between Israel and Hamas are surging again following a string of attacks from Gaza and Israeli retaliatory airstrikes. The reason is simple: Hamas is struggling to manage Gaza economically, it refuses to divert funds from its military wing to civilian needs, and the Strip’s infrastructure is eroding at an alarming rate. Only brinksmanship with Israel can extricate Hamas from the disarray it has created.

Can Israel Defeat Hamas Without Toppling It?

| February 21, 2019

So far, Israel’s objectives in armed conflicts with Hamas have been limited so as to avoid the need to reoccupy Gaza or to send it down the “Somalia model” path of chaos. But there might be a third option. 

Hamas’s Popularity: A Reality Check

| February 20, 2019

The photos and particularly the videos of Hamas’s 31st anniversary commemoration in Katiba Square in Gaza evoke the impression of a vibrant, extremely popular movement after 11 years of rule over Gaza. This impression is patently false.

Hamas at 31: As Committed as Ever to Israel’s Destruction

| December 27, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Hamas’s 31st anniversary was marked with a string of terror attacks and an official statement by the organization’s leader, Ismail Haniyeh, rejecting any recognition of the legitimacy of Jewish statehood. This provides further proof, if any were needed, of the impossibility of reaching a long-term arrangement with the organization.

Can Hamas Disrupt Commercial Flights to Israel?

Hamas has repeatedly threatened to disrupt commercial flights to Israel, a threat intended to deter Israel whenever a violent round of hostilities erupts. This threat hearkens back to the flight ban that was imposed on Israel during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge following a Hamas rocket attack on Yahud. While the flight ban was more a reflection of the Obama administration’s desire to put political pressure on Israel than a reflection of genuine safety concerns, Israeli decision makers do seem to consider the Hamas threat to Ben-Gurion Airport to be viable. In fact, it is more a propaganda message than a concrete threat.

Deterrence Is Not Everything

Israel’s decisions a) to contain Hamas’s continuous provocations rather than use them as a casus belli and b) to refrain from an immediate military response to the discovery of Hezbollah tunnels into Israeli sovereign territory in the northern Galilee highlight the issue of deterrence as a core factor affecting the Israeli image in the region. Assuming the current Israeli modus operandi is the product of rational and thoughtful staff work, it can be inferred that deterrence is no longer either a decisive factor or even a strategic goal in the asymmetric conflicts with Hamas and Hezbollah.

The Iranian Modus Operandi

| December 6, 2018

Time and again in recent decades, Iran has used its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to attempt to deprive Israel of calm borders with its neighbors. As this problem is likely to recur in the context of the Gaza Strip, it is essential – and by no means impossible – to root it out from that area.