February 24, 2024

Hamas Breaks Truce with Israel, Parades Hostages for Media Attention

Hamas broke the truce to attack Israel on Friday morning. The Islamist terror organization used the pause in fighting to see how far it could push Israel in delaying hostage transfers and also turn the hostage transfers into a media event.

Hamas purposely paraded hostages for the cameras to bolster its image, showing that despite fifty days of war, it remained intact. The organization has more than fourteen battalions that have not been engaged in heavy fighting and has lost key mid-level commanders but its leadership is mostly intact.

Now that fighting has resumed, Israel will need to search for a strategy. Israel has the tactics and forces, but the international community’s critique has been growing, and there is a sense that Israel cannot wage this war for a long time. Israeli leaders have said the war will continue for a while, but this may be contrary to the international community’s expectations.

President Isaac Herzog went to the UAE to meet foreign leaders as part of the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference. His presence is important as the UAE is an important friend of Israel and a country that does not want to see Hamas come out of this with increased influence in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority’s aging leadership has not seized the day to make itself more relevant, posing a challenge for Israel. Israeli leaders themselves don’t seem to know what the best strategy is, but there is a chance to come up with a strategy, not just tactical goals.

Israel’s goals are to defeat Hamas and free the hostages. Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant flew in on a helicopter on Friday and spoke with members of a reserve paratrooper unit in Beit Hanoun.

Iran is also searching for a strategy after seeking to unify various proxies against Israel without much success. Meanwhile, the international community will seek to resume the pause in fighting.