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David Hearst: This is How Hamas Trapped Israel in a Deadly Ambush

David Hearst: This is How Hamas Trapped Israel in a Deadly Ambush

London – Ma’an – British writer David Hearst says the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has lured Israel into a genuine regional war on all fronts, making it difficult to bring to an end.

In a report published on the “Middle East Eye” website, Hearst highlighted one of the most critical unanswered questions about the Aqsa Flood attack executed by Hamas on October 7: What did Hamas think would happen as a result of its attack on Israel in that manner?

He noted that some initially answered this question with the “chaos theory,” which seemed accurate at first as the operation aimed to hit Israeli military targets and hold high-value hostages but spiraled out of control due to the unexpected collapse of the Israeli Gaza Brigade. Hamas had anticipated the loss of most of the 1,400 operatives it sent across the fence that day, but many returned alive. As the war progressed, confidence in the “chaos theory” waned.

Initially Uncoordinated Allies

Hearst pointed out that Hamas’s allies did not immediately align w
ith its actions. Allies in Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Iran were not enthusiastic about responding to the call of Hamas’s military wing commander, Muhammad Deif, to join the fight against Israel. He cited statements from Hezbollah leaders and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who said this war is “100% Palestinian in decision and execution.”

By mid-November, Hamas’s strategy to launch a regional war seemed to falter. However, as Israel preemptively struck more Hezbollah targets, the Lebanese group retaliated. The Yemeni Houthis also entered the confrontation, attacking ships in the Red Sea.

A Turning Point in April

The turning point came in April when Israel struck the Iranian embassy complex in Damascus. Iran responded with a massive direct attack on Israeli targets, hitting military bases.

Hearst stated that the “red line” for a regional war had been crossed, making this war a matter of time.

He concluded that after October 7, all Hamas had to do was wait, continue fighting, and let
Israel’s aggression and arrogance towards its neighbors do the work for it.

Planned Strategy

Hearst asserted that Hamas’s strategy succeeded. He asked whether this was the strategy the movement had actually planned and answered affirmatively, relying on statements made by Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, in 2022. Sinwar said, “Escalating resistance in all forms and making the occupation pay the price for its occupation and settlement is the only way to achieve our people’s liberation and return goals. Those who do not act today will regret it tomorrow. We have no time for internal disputes and conflicts while fascism threatens us.”

Hearst also mentioned Sinwar’s speech months later, where he predicted, “Within months, in my estimation, not exceeding a year, we will force the occupation to choose between implementing international law and respecting international resolutions-i.e., withdrawing from the West Bank and Jerusalem, dismantling settlements, releasing prisoners, and allowing refugees to return-o
r making this occupation in complete contradiction with the international will, isolating it strongly and ending its integration into the region and the world.”

Source: Maan News Agency