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Why toppling the Hamas Regime Must be the goal?

Israel stands at a crossroads regarding the war's objectives. The arguments against targeting Hamas rule are significant and revolve around the potential for a full-scale war with Hezbollah, uncertainties about the current capabilities of the IDF, concerns about regaining control over two million Palestinians, and apprehensions about harming Israeli civilians in Gaza. Why do we maintain that targeting Hamas should be the primary objective of the war?


The Strategic Considerations:

  • The war instigated by Hamas is a component of a long-term Iranian strategy. This conflict should be considered within its broader context. Iran is implementing a systematic plan against Israel, characterized by recurrent cycles of conflict and military engagements designed to erode Israeli society over time, potentially leading to its collapse. In each cycle, Israel confronts increasingly intricate threats and a more adept adversary, and the linkages between various geographical theaters of the conflict grow stronger.

  • Existential threat versus the concern for hostage safety. The possibility of causing harm to Israeli hostages, including children and the elderly, is a distressing reality. What is at stake, however, here is an existential threat. As long as Hamas retains its grip on power, Iran has the potential to bolster it for the subsequent round of conflict

Hamas militant rising his hands to surrender

Why do this now and not prepare for the next round?

The goal of eliminating Hamas in Gaza is a necessity, and the urgency to do so arises from a rare confluence of factors:

  •  A moment of exceptional national resilience. Particularly in light of the significant polarization witnessed over the past year, the distinctive circumstances of the conflict have fostered an unusual level of social unity and national fortitude. This could supply the military with the required social and national resilience for a more protracted battle than the public is accustomed to.

  • Hamas is setting traps, but the dynamics have shifted. Hamas has made extensive preparations for an Israeli incursion into Gaza. However, the declaration of war is crucial as it permits the utilization of tools that Israel has previously abstained from employing. (Specific recommendations, which were shared with the government, have been excluded from this version). Gaza will not become another Vietnam, as the circumstances differ significantly; the Americans in Vietnam were uncertain about how their presence contributed to the safety of their families.

  • Hamas' initial attack has backfired, essentially becoming a PR disaster for the organization. The comparison with ISIS is unavoidable. There is uncertainty about whether the extraordinary level of support for Israel in the West will be regained.

  • Confronting Hamas may result in a more intense conflict with Hezbollah. This is a carefully calculated risk that Israel must assume, given that Iran also stands to lose significantly in the event of a broad confrontation, including undermining Hezbollah's influence in Lebanon, destabilizing the Assad regime, and the possibility of its nuclear program drawing international scrutiny. In any case, the decision to escalate will be made in Tehran, and in the next round, we can anticipate facing a more formidable Hezbollah presence and deeper Iranian influence in the region. Isolating the Gaza Strip from the Iranian ring of fire around Israel is imperative, and it is preferable to execute this action as promptly as possible.

What will come after Hamas? 

  • Hamas is the worst alternative. Removing the Hamas regime may not resolve the Gaza predicament entirely. Nonetheless, it is increasingly evident that even the least favorable alternatives are likely to be more advantageous than the perpetuation of Hamas' rule in Gaza. Hamas is an experienced, well-equipped, disciplined, and sophisticated terro army, closely linked to the Iranian proxy network encircling Israel, and motivated by a vehemently anti-Semitic and murderous ideology.

  • What about control over two million Palestinians? Establishing control, even over a segment of the Palestinian population, may be unavoidable. Nevertheless, this control would be interim, with the ultimate aim of transferring it to the Palestinian Authority, which launched a coup against Hamas, with the umbrella support of regional stakeholders. This transition would undoubtedly demand efforts to fortify the Palestinian Authority.

  • Regardless, the targeting of Hamas is expected to convert the Gaza challenge from a regional challenge, beyond Israel's control, into a local and complex challenge, but a one that can be controlled.

Any move by the IDF, no matter how forceful, that does not result in toppling the Hamas regime will be ineffective. All Israeli attempts to deter Hamas and influence its conscious, have failed.

Finally, the Israeli move should not be driven by emotional revenge but by a strategic goal. Israel is a nation that seeks life, and therefore, we need to clarify that this time we must go out and fight for our home at any cost


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