Beginning with a murderous attack in Beer Sheva on March 22, through the stabbing of a police officer in Jerusalem on Sunday night, Israel has faced a wave of attacks that has claimed a total of nineteen lives. The most recent were three civilians killed by a pair of axe- and knife-wielding terrorists in the town of Elad; the victims were survived by sixteen children altogether. While the IDF has officially determined that Hamas did not organize the attacks, Yohanan Tzoreff argues that the terrorist group nonetheless played a major role in the violence, and outlines its goals:
As early as January 2022, Hamas began laying the groundwork for the Ramadan escalation. The organization “warned” against Israeli “attack” on al-Aqsa Mosque. . . . Hamas’s claims lack factual basis, but the organization’s goal was to breathe life into the Palestinian public in the West Bank, the Palestinian diaspora, and Israel in advance of and during the escalation in Ramadan.
[T]he goal set by Hamas for itself was not only opposition to the “occupation,” but also, and perhaps most importantly, the exploitation of the Palestinian Authority’s weakness and the complete failure of the political strategy in the face of the “deal of the century,” [proposed by the Trump administration in 2019].
In May 2021, Hamas was able to connect the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, and the Arab citizens of Israel through al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy sites in east Jerusalem, and to inspire hope among Palestinians desirous of change. One year later, with the approach of Ramadan, Hamas sought to create an event that would achieve equal results. But the . . . attacks in Beer Sheva and Hadera—and it is not yet clear if there is connection to the desired escalation beyond inspiration—did not elicit waves of mass identification with the terrorists on the part of the [Arab] citizens of Israel. The condemnation heard from all the levels of this sector’s leadership was clear and widespread, effectively preventing the opening of this front.
However, Hamas has gained achievements in three areas. The Palestinian issue, after a resounding absence from the Negev summit [involving Israel and several of its Arab allies] in March, returned to the international agenda; the UN and the international community dealt with what was happening. . . . Jordan, which is more threatened than other Arab countries by the escalation in Jerusalem, reprimanded an envoy from the Israeli embassy and even convened a forum of the Arab League that discussed escalation and condemned Israel. Hamas also illustrated the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and the crumbling Fatah movement, including indications of rebellion in its ranks.