By Keeping Iran in Check, Israel Helps the U.S., and Ukraine

Over the weekend, Israeli drones appear to have attacked a military facility in the city of Isfahan, deep inside Iran. The IDF also reportedly struck an Iranian convoy carrying arms near the Iraq-Syria boarder. Benny Avni comments on these strikes, and their relationship to the recent terrorist attacks in Jerusalem:

Israel’s operations in the Palestinian territories and its daring attack at Isfahan, Iran, are part of the same long war—and both seem to serve America’s interests. The Palestinians have their own goals in this fight, but increased violence also advances the Iranians’ overarching goal: obliterating the Jewish state. “Iran has been pouring money into the Islamic Jihad organization, which began to establish new armed groups” in the northern West Bank, an analyst for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Yoni Ben Menachem, wrote recently.

The Isfahan attack seems like a significant turn in the “war between wars” that Israel has quietly waged for some years. Reportedly conducted with quadcopter drones, it targeted, and apparently left heavily damaged, a previously unknown arms-manufacturing site, . . . reportedly built as an advanced missile-development site. Israeli sources are reporting that it could have been connected to research and development on hypersonic missiles.

As of yet, only Russia and Communist China have developed [such missiles]. If indeed Russia is helping Iran join that group even before America has acquired hypersonic missiles—or the means to defend against them—it must be keeping Washington policymakers awake at night. . . . Attacks on Iranian facilities therefore benefit both Israel and America.

Indeed, the military hardware being developed in Isfahan may well have been intended for Russian use in Ukraine—making its destruction a boon to NATO’s efforts in Europe.

Read more at New York Sun

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, U.S.-Israel relationship, War in Ukraine

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security