Hamas Foments Violence, While Keeping Gaza Quiet

Hamas has played no small part in encouraging and planning the recent wave of attacks in Israel, some of which are carried out by Hamas fighters in the West Bank. But at the same time it has refrained from initiating any operations from its base in Gaza itself. Jonathan Schanzer explains why:

The group’s leader [in Gaza], Ismail Haniyeh, has called for an intifada, or uprising. Yet he hasn’t unleashed Hamas’s huge arsenal of rockets or its trained fighting forces from the Gaza Strip, the territory he controls. Hamas has one foot in the uprising and one foot out. . . .

Though Hamas is surely tempted to join the unrest, it is restrained by the memory of last summer’s devastating conflict and the certain knowledge that a new war would only compound Gazans’ misery. And they also know how difficult it has been to negotiate reconstruction after last summer’s war. . . .

Aware of its limitations in Gaza, Hamas has mobilized its fighters in the West Bank. With this arms-length strategy, Hamas can both strike out at Israel and also undermine its political rival, the Palestinian Authority, which it has for more than a decade tried to unseat. This poses little risk to Hamas’s grip on Gaza.

Read more at Wall Street Journal

More about: Gaza, Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, Israel & Zionism, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian terror

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