Why Hamas Attacked - and Why Israel Was Taken by Surprise

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Oct 16, 2023 | Foreign Affairs

In response to a question about thestrategic logic of Hamas’ choice of this particular attack, former U.S. AmbassadorMartin Indyk argued in an interview with Foreign Affairs that the Arabworld is coming to terms with Israel, with even Saudi Arabia discussingnormalizing relations with it. To enable that deal, the United States ispressing Israel to make concessions to the Palestinian Authority - Hamas’senemy.  He notes inter alia that thiswas an opportunity for Hamas and its Iranian backers to disrupt a process that wasdeeply threatening to both.  While Hamas wasprobably not following Iran’s instructions, the two acted in coordination, andhad a common interest in disrupting a trend that was gaining support among Arabpopulations. The idea was to embarrass those Arab leaders who have made peacewith Israel, or who might do so, and to prove that Hamas and Iran are the actorsable to inflict military defeat on Israel.


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