Will Summer Bring Another Gaza War?

It might, write Jonathan Schanzer and Grant Rumley, even though neither Israel nor much of the Hamas ruling clique wants one:

The wild card [is] the internal fissures within Hamas. . . . [Hamas] has multiple patrons with competing regional agendas and is irredeemably fractured as a result. The group’s Iran-backed military wing, its West Bank leaders, its Gaza leaders, and political-wing figures in places like Qatar, Turkey, and Egypt are far from aligned.

Unilateral decisions taken by one or more of these figures can have deadly implications. Last summer, it was Hamas’s military leadership in Turkey that ordered the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. That operation sparked an Israeli reprisal that soon led to escalation and then all-out war. . . .

An uneasy calm exists now between Hamas and Israel, punctuated by the predictable cantankerous rhetoric and an occasional rocket testing. None of that has come close to sparking another conflict, primarily because neither side really wants one. But what Israelis and Palestinians want may not matter now that actors like Mohammed Deif, [the leader of Hamas’s military wing in Gaza], are back in the rocket-making business, digging tunnels for the next round.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Gaza, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Khaled Meshal, Protective Edge

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7