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Editor’s note: The following column was originally published. city journal.
Hamas appears to have made two fundamental miscalculations in planning its brutal attack on Israel on October 7th.
First, leadership has made it clear that the United States will not continue to support Israel if Hamas kills enough Palestinians, who it has used as human shields to protect its command center and network of underground tunnels in Gaza. I had assumed that.
Second, Hamas believes that if enough Palestinians die in Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and its backer Iran will open a second front in the war and escalate the conflict. This scenario clearly worries both Israel and Washington.
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Both calculations may still prove valid if the death and suffering of Palestinians in Gaza continues to capture the world’s attention and spark growing anger, but effectively Hamas’ hopes are high that ruling Hezbollah will escalate the conflict to protect Hamas and the Palestinians. The location of Gaza seems to be wrong.
Last Friday, in his first public comments since the October 7 attacks, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said escalation to war remained a “realistic possibility” but declared no official intervention in the conflict. I didn’t.
In a sermon broadcast Friday after Islamic prayers to thousands of supporters in Dahieh, Hezbollah’s main stronghold on the southern outskirts of Beirut, and elsewhere in Lebanon, Prime Minister Nasrallah said that Islam The Shiite extremist Party of God has denied any role in Hamas’ attack on Israel. He said Hamas’ Al-Aqsa flood operation was “100 percent Palestinian in terms of decision and execution.” He added that Hamas was in the dark not only from fellow militant groups in Gaza, but also from “other resistance groups beyond the axis of resistance,” namely Iran.
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Prime Minister Nasrallah predicted that Hamas would win a “blessed battle” with Israel, although he praised rocket attacks on Israel and US military bases in the region by other Iranian-linked militant groups in Iraq and Yemen. , did not say that Hezbollah and the Iranian-led organization supported it. The “Axis of Resistance” will soon do more to help Hamas. Since the heinous massacre, Hamas has come under Israeli bombardment and claims more than 10,000 Palestinians, many of them children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip.
Prime Minister Nasrallah also accused the United States of Israel’s bombing of Gaza and the “genocide” of Palestinians, calling it a “tool” of Israel and the United States in the long-running conflict.
Hezbollah leaders have remained uncharacteristically silent since October 7, when Hamas massacred some 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, and took more than 240 Israeli hostages. His speech, delivered in Arabic, was therefore widely anticipated.
Although Nasrallah praised the Palestinian terrorists who entered Israel for the genocide of Jews as “heroes,” Hamas must have been deeply disappointed by his speech. Hezbollah has targeted Israeli military positions in northern Israel with anti-tank rockets and missiles, and skirmishes along the border have left 50 fighters dead, while Hamas has implored Hezbollah and Iran to do more. ing. But if Hamas had hoped for more from an ideologically aligned ally, it would no doubt have been chagrined by Nasrallah’s insistence that a limited attack on northern Israel is sufficient for now.
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“What is happening at the border may seem calm, but it is not,” Nasrallah said. The operation “created a state of fear and panic” among the population, he said. [Israeli] and America’s leaders. ”
Fearing an escalation of the conflict, the United States deployed two carrier strike groups to the Eastern Mediterranean. Prime Minister Nasrallah denied that Iran’s decision not to immediately open a second front was due to its massive firepower near the border. “Your warships in the Eastern Mediterranean do not scare us and have never scared us,” he said.
If Hamas is distressed by Hezbollah’s apparent reluctance to increase military aid, even as Palestinian civilian death tolls soar and humanitarian catastrophe looms in Gaza, , Hamas must also be disappointed that Washington continues to support Israel’s right to bomb Hamas strongholds.
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Nasrallah’s speech coincided with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Israel. At a press conference held during Nasrallah’s speech, Blinken reiterated the United States’ support for Israel and once again warned Hezbollah and Iran not to open a new front in the conflict. “We are fully committed to preventing aggression from all quarters,” he said, “and we will take the necessary steps to deal with it.”
Blinken said “we need to do more to protect Palestinian civilians,” but continued to support Israel’s “right,” indeed “duty,” to defend itself. Blinken, visibly shaken by the graphic videos and photos shown of the Oct. 7 attack, said Hamas’ atrocities remain “almost beyond the human capacity to process and digest.” Stated. He also criticized those protesting in support of Hamas, although he did not name them. He said it was “shocking” and “shocking” that the barbarity of the Hamas attack had “quickly faded from the memory of so many people”.
Click here to read more articles by Judith Miller