Weekend long read

1) Ynet reports on ‘the IDF’s campaign inside Hamas tunnels’.

“John Spencer, head of the Urban Warfare Division at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, argues that Hamas’ goal in constructing the tunnel network was initially to buy time until Israel was compelled to cease the fighting, allowing Hamas to survive.

Therefore, Hamas also built its resistance facilities above and mainly beneath the ground, within and beneath residential buildings and community structures that the Gazan population relies on daily and finds refuge in during wartime. This is why the main tunnel facilities are located beneath hospitals, schools, mosques, clinics and UN facilities.

Hamas learned from the IDF operational pattern, which operates within the boundaries of international law, allowing combat and targeting of civilian facilities only if they have a clear military value or use. Hamas aimed to cause casualties among “non-combatants” so that the Americans and the UN would force Israel to cease.”

2) PMW reports that the Palestinian Authority is ‘anxious to reward thousands of new terrorist prisoners’.

“The Palestinian Authority is so anxious to reward the 6,540 new Palestinian terrorists with monthly salaries, known as pay-for-slay payments, that it has decided to bypass standard PA procedures.

According to PA “Regulation of Payment,” the Red Cross must visit imprisoned Palestinian terrorists to confirm their eligibility for salary rewards.”

3) Ilan Zalayat explains why ‘The Houthis are anything but heroes’.

“Social media in the West, and particularly in the Arab world, has been filled with support for “Yemen” (conflating the country with the militia group that controls it) as an ally for Gaza. In some pro-Palestinian protests in the West, demonstrators chant: “Yemen, Yemen make us proud, turn another ship around,” praising the militia’s perceived leftist agenda of anti-imperialism and defiance of global capitalism through their sea trade blockades. However, the demonstrators couldn’t be more wrong about the Houthis.”

4) At the JCPA, Irina Tsukerman discusses ‘Iran’s Growing Role in Judea and Samaria’.

“Iran’s regional expansion provides additional reasons for concern. These developments link back to Iran’s strategy of encircling Israel with its various proxies. The “Al Aqsa Flood” operation and the consequent expansion of the regional conflict to different Iran-backed proxies and militias indicate that Iran’s commitment has been consistent and substantial. Moreover, Tehran made forays even into the circles close to Mahmoud Abbas through meetings between Fatah Central Committee insiders and prominent Iranian officials as early as 2014.”

5)  At the INSS, Eldad Pardo and Ofir Winter analyse ‘Israel and Jews in Egyptian Textbooks’.

“The question examined in this article is how education in Egypt shapes the connection between the countries and nations: Is Egypt—a powerful neighbor that keeps on getting stronger—a shaky partner in peace that is only maintaining normal relations with Israel for the time being, out of transient pragmatic considerations, or is it a reliable friend that is willing to deepen peaceful relations and normalization with Israel in a controlled and moderate manner, also out of pragmatic concerns? And can we identify educational trends in Egypt that may lead to positive or negative change in the existing nature of relations?”

6) AT WINEP, Michael Knights and Hamdi Malik provide a profile of the Kataib Hezbollah leader killed on February 7 in Baghdad.

“On February 7, 2024, the U.S. military confirmed that it had struck a vehicle in Baghdad, killing its occupants. U.S.-designated terrorist group Kataib Hezbollah confirmed that one of its senior leaders, Abu Baqr al-Saeedi (real name Wissam Muhammad Saber), was killed in Baghdad. This short piece will look at what Militia Spotlight has gathered about this KH terrorist and his career.”

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