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The recent attack by Hamas demonstrates an unprecedented level of capability and sophistication from the extremist militia, coupled with a significant intelligence failure on Israel’s part. The IDF’s vulnerability can be attributed to an expanding threat landscape and the evolving counter-intelligence tactics used by their adversaries. The rise of Iran-backed forces in the region, along with the increasingly covert operations by Hamas and similar groups, challenges Israel’s intelligence capabilities. However, the pressing question now is not about the occurrence of the attack but how Israel should respond. Potential strategies for Israel to reestablish deterrence include maintaining direct control, transferring authority to the West Bank, or adopting a collaborative International-Arab governance model. Each option carries significant strategic implications. Direct Israeli control might strain its resources and lead to further conflicts. Handing authority to the West Bank Authorities could embolden extremist factions. On the other hand, a joint governance approach could upset regional power balances. Given these complexities, Israel might consider a two-pronged strategy: retaining limited territorial control in areas of Gaza adjacent to the Israeli border, while conducting special operations throughout the rest of the Gaza Strip to neutralize and eliminate high-value enemy facilities and individuals. This approach would address immediate security concerns and provide a window to develop a sustainable strategy that considers both national and international perspectives.
Israel, Hamas, Gaza, Middle East
Mahmoudian, Arman, "Israel-Hamas Conflict: Operational Considerations and Strategy" (2023). GNSI Publications. 3.