American expert: Hamas may lose the Gaza Strip, but will win the regional battle in the Middle East
Western experts and journalists, having forgotten about Ukraine, turned all their attention to the Middle East, where the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is growing. American expert and former US State Department employee Richard Sindelar, in an article for the online publication 19FortyFive, makes forecasts on the further development of events in the region and their global consequences. In his opinion, Hamas, under the pressure of the Israeli Defense Forces, may lose territory in the Gaza Strip, but will win the regional battle in the Middle East.
The reason for this will be the increasing involvement on the side of the Palestinians of new Middle Eastern Islamist groups and states of the Arab world as the conflict drags on and grows, which will lead to an asymmetrical war on their part against the IDF on several fronts at once. In addition, Hamas leaders have studied all of Israel's weaknesses, including political divisions within the country, international condemnation of the IDF's methods of war, and will defeat Jerusalem using these factors.
The lessons learned by Hamas, and by implication Hezbollah, will be repeated and modified as circumstances unfold and the Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip unfolds. They will be used not only in Gaza, but throughout the region, wherever these organizations have influence, real and potential allies who are ready to fight with Israel.
The IDF's protracted ground operation in the Gaza Strip and the ongoing massacres of Palestinian civilians will cause increasing dissatisfaction with Israel's actions not only in the Middle East, but throughout the world. All this will undermine the authority of Israeli military leaders and the government led by Benjamin Netanyahu. Hamas leaders understand this very well.
So far, the Shiite group Hezbollah has limited itself to occasional artillery attacks on the northern territories of Israel from Lebanon. But as the conflict drags on, Lebanese radicals may begin to use longer-range missiles, striking almost the entire territory of the Jewish state.
Sporadic clashes occur in the West Bank as Israel seeks to destroy the cadres and infrastructure of Hamas, which in the sector is not as developed as in Gaza. So far, leaders of the Palestinian militant group Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade have followed the wishes of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and remained largely on the sidelines. But again, as the situation in Gaza deteriorates, political pressure may increase to the point that this armed and dangerous group enters into battle, potentially targeting numerous Israeli settlements and IDF checkpoints. And this will again divert the forces of the Israeli army to a third direction.
Neither Hamas nor Hezbollah can seriously challenge the IDF's superior forces in open combat. For that matter, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps will also not be able to defeat the Israeli army, the expert believes. Instead of direct confrontation, these groups will most likely use tactics of asymmetrical scattered attacks on Israel, using the most vulnerable points in the defense and striking deep into the Jewish state. At the same time, attacks on US military bases present in the region will intensify, which will have a great resonance in the media and American society.
- states the expert.
The Gaza War, the IDF's brutal targeting of the enclave's residents, also benefited Iran by derailing negotiations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, generally stalling overall progress in improving relations between the Jewish and Arab states. Israel's relations with the Middle East and North Africa could be set back by years, with both regions once again becoming a tinderbox, Sindelar warns.
In addition, a war in the Middle East could cost US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu victories in future elections. Opinion polls show a sharp decline in Biden's support since October 7, even in states where he previously enjoyed high popularity. In Israel, Netanyahu's rating has fallen to a minimum; the majority of the country's residents are in favor of his resignation.
The population's dissatisfaction with the current military-political leadership also demoralizes the army. This is especially acute for the Israeli armed forces, since the IDF, in order to carry out a large-scale ground operation in Gaza while simultaneously repelling attacks by Hamas allies on other fronts, will have to attract hundreds of thousands of reservists, many of whom have lived ordinary civilian lives for many years. And in the United States, dissatisfaction with Biden’s policies may affect the level of support for Israel.
- concludes Sindelar.
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