Hamas Supports West Bank Terrorism with Money, but Not with Rockets

Oct. 27 2022

In the past few days, the IDF and Shin Bet have conducted a series of successful raids in Nablus against the terrorist group known as the Lions’ Den, killing one of its leaders and destroying a bomb factory. A relatively new organization, based in Samaria and opposed to the Palestinian Authority, the Lions’ Den is responsible for numerous attacks in recent weeks. Residents of Nablus are now reportedly frustrated that leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad haven’t intervened on their behalf, as Yoni Ben Menachem writes:

It is Hamas that in recent months has pushed the residents of the West Bank and east Jerusalem towards a new armed intifada against Israel while promising that it would actually support such an intifada and assist it by firing rockets from the Gaza Strip. Hamas also leads a large support campaign for Lions’ Den via social media and even transferred more than a million dollars to finance its activities. However, despite this support, no rockets were fired from the Strip towards Israel.

Senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials threatened yesterday that the Gaza Strip “will join the conflict in the event of an imminent escalation in the West Bank,” as if there had been no escalation until now. Why has the Gaza Strip remained silent so far?

There are several reasons: a) pragmatism on the part of the Hamas that wants to keep receiving monthly Qatari financial aid to the Gaza Strip, the continued entry of thousands of workers from the Gaza Strip to work in Israel, and the humanitarian relief and rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip from the damage done in recent wars; b) Hamas has still not restored the tunnel system and rocket production that was severely damaged in the war of May 2021; c) Israel learned the lessons from its military operation in May 2021 and formulated a new strategy of . . . severing the connection between the Gaza Strip, on the one hand, and east Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Israeli Arabs, on the other.

The big question is whether the deterrence of Hamas and Islamic Jihad will continue even if Israel conducts a large military operation in Nablus and Jenin to eliminate the terrorist infrastructure.

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Read more at Arab Expert

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, West Bank

Will America Invite Israel to Join Its Multinational Coalitions?

From the Korean War onward, the U.S. has rarely fought wars alone, but has instead led coalitions of various allied states. Israel stands out in that it has close military and diplomatic relations with Washington yet its forces have never been part of these coalitions—even in the 1991 Gulf War, when Iraqi missiles were raining down on its cities. The primary reason for its exclusion was the sensitivity of participating Arab and Muslim nations. But now that Jerusalem has diplomatic relations with several Arab countries and indeed regularly participates alongside them in U.S.-led joint military exercises, David Levy believes it may someday soon be asked to contribute to an American expedition.

It is unlikely that Israel would be expected by the U.S. to deploy the Golani [infantry] brigade or any other major army unit. Instead, Washington will likely solicit areas of IDF niche expertise. These include missile defense and special forces, two areas in which Israel is a world leader. The IDF has capabilities that it can share by providing trainers and observers. Naval and air support would also be expected as these assets are inherently deployable. Israel can also provide allies in foreign wars with intelligence and cyber-warfare support, much of which can be accomplished without the physical deployment of troops.

Jerusalem’s previous reasons for abstention from coalitions were legitimate. Since its independence, Israel has faced existential threats. Conventional Arab armies sought to eliminate the nascent state in 1948-49, 1967, and again in 1973. This danger remained ever-present until the 1978 signing of the Camp David Accords, which established peace between Egypt and Israel. Post-Camp David, the threats to Israel remain serious but are no longer existential. If Iran were to become a nuclear power, this would pose a new existential threat. Until then, Israel is relatively well secured.

Jerusalem’s new Arab allies would welcome its aid. Western capitals, especially Washington, should be expected to pursue Israel’s military assistance, and Jerusalem will have little choice but to acquiesce to the expeditionary expectation.

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: IDF, U.S. military, U.S.-Israel relationship