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Hamas is working from Home

Hamas's military strategy focuses on survival rather than defeating Israel. Its aim is to demoralize and break the spirit of Israeli society through combat. This strategy relies on a decentralized command structure, a wide deployment of rockets, and guerrilla warfare utilizing extensive underground infrastructure in populated areas. The motivation of both Hezbollah and Hamas fighters, beyond religious zeal, arises from their geographic dispersion near their homes and families. Indeed, Hamas is working from home.

Hamas surprised Israel, yet the IDF was aware of its doctrine. From the early stages of the war, and even prior to the ground invasion, senior IDF officials anticipated a prolonged campaign, potentially lasting months or even years. Despite the widespread visibility and awareness of this, not everyone grasped the implications. As the campaign continues, skepticism about the predicted duration of the fighting grows.

Calls advocating for an immediate ceasefire in exchange for prisoner and hostage swaps are on the rise. Some argue that ending the conflict now would enable Israel to better prepare for a future offensives.

The immediate consequences of a ceasefire could be disastrous. Such a move might result in a social divide far greater than the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War. It is likely that settlements near the conflict zone and those along the northern border would remain deserted, with the possibility of the Golan Heights settlements following suit. This erosion of trust in the IDF could significantly weaken national resilience. Furthermore, Israel's reputation for strength would be severely damaged, altering perceptions among both adversaries and regional allies. The perceived victory by Hamas would have implications beyond the Palestinian issue, influencing the entire region. This could inevitably lead to future conflicts against a more advanced and sophisticated opponent.

Hamas is working from home

Advocates for a future offensive might overlook crucial factors as well. The strong social cohesion forged in response to Hamas's offensive is unlikely to be reignited by an IDF initiative, especially if it occurs long after October 7th. Similarly, the current level of American support, which is remarkable given recent trends in the U.S., may not be replicated with the same fervor in the future.

Gaza will not become Israel's Vietnam, because American soldiers did not understand how their presence there contributed to the personal security of their families. What is essential now is the systematic dismantling of Hamas's infrastructure and a strategic approach to addressing the systems that fuel Palestinian radicalization – in the West Bank, Gaza, the Palestinian diaspora, and the West. This situation calls for Israeli resilience and patience.


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