How Israel Is Trying to Nip the Next Wave of Terror in the Bud

According to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—a terrorist group with close ties to Iran—Israel killed one of its senior commanders in Damascus on March 19. Yoni Ben Menachem suggests this assassination is part of an attempt by Jerusalem to preempt a campaign of terror being planned for the month of Ramadan, which began yesterday:

Ali Ramzi Alaswad . . . was killed at the door to his house in the Qudsiya neighborhood of Damascus. Two men ambushed him in the morning near his car when he left his home, shooting him repeatedly. Alaswad was planning attacks against Israel in the coming weeks. Presumably, the Israeli Mossad followed him for a long time.

The Israeli security establishment is genuinely concerned about the continued growth of terrorist groups in the northern West Bank. Islamic Jihad has established nine new armed terrorist groups there, which receive financial aid and weapons from Iran. [It] has been leading terrorist operations in the northern West Bank since the end of the IDF operation in the Gaza Strip in May 2021 and following the escape of six terrorists from Gilboa prison (and their recapture) in September 2021. Five were from Islamic Jihad.

Israel is entering an extremely sensitive security period, and the targeted killings in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and abroad are an integral part of the tools that Israel uses to fight terrorists and for deterrence. Israel has a bank of targets at the top of the terrorist organizations: senior terrorists who plan to harm Israel’s citizens and its security forces.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Israeli Security, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Palestinian terror

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict