Weekend long read

1) The ITIC reports on ‘Public protests and criticism of Hamas in the Gaza Strip during recent months’.

“During the past three months, in light of the continued fighting, public criticism of the Hamas government and leadership has increased significantly in the Gaza Strip compared to the protests in the first months. The expanding activities of the IDF forces in Khan Yunis, Gaza City and the central Gaza Strip, the continuation of IDF and Israeli Air Force attacks throughout the Gaza Strip, the increase in the number of casualties and the heavy damage caused to infrastructure and buildings, the lack of food, the plight of the residents, especially the displaced persons, as well as the discourse about a military operation in Rafah, brought residents into the streets to demonstrate against Hamas.”

2) At the JCPA, Khaled Abu Toameh reports on criticism of Hamas in Palestinian Authority controlled areas.

“Public opinion polls may indicate an increase in Hamas’ popularity among Palestinians in the West Bank after the October 7, 2023, massacre, but a growing number of Palestinians living there have begun speaking out against the Iran-backed Palestinian terror group.

Most of those critical of Hamas are the Palestinian laborers who used to work inside Israel before the carnage. It is estimated that more than 140,000 Palestinians from the West Bank used to cross into Israel every day – legally and illegally – to work in a variety of jobs, including construction and agriculture. These laborers have not been able to return to their workplaces since the Hamas attack due to strict Israeli security restrictions. Many of them fear that they may never return to work in Israel and that they will be replaced with foreign workers.”

3) At the National Interest, David May discusses ‘Hamas’ South African Support Network’.

“South Africa does not just carry water for Hamas by attacking Israel in international forums. It has also allowed Hamas to turn South Africa into a base for fundraising, where an extensive network of front organizations builds support for terrorism. […]

At the center of Hamas’s South African web of support is the Muslim cleric Ebrahim Gabriels, also known as Ibrahim Jibril. Gabriels, a leader within the South African Muslim community, has founded, directed, and currently directs several Muslim organizations tied to Hamas.”

4) At the National Review Danielle Pletka discusses Hamas casualty figures.

“In the fog of war, it is not surprising that death tolls are incorrect. Only about half of Gaza’s hospitals are functioning, movement within the Strip is challenging, and burials are happening without notification to any health authorities. As of November 7, the Hamas Ministry of Health stopped reporting deaths, ceding that task to the Government Media Office. The media office, in turn, freely admitted that it was deriving at least half of its own numbers from unreliable public media reports. The cumulative problems of unreliable Hamas reporting, battlefield uncertainty, the media’s lack of information, and, additionally, media bias suggest that the numbers of fatalities and casualties emanating from Gaza as “authoritative” have been increasingly untethered to reality.”

5) The Alma Research Center asks ‘Is The Lebanese Army Capable of Enforcing a New Political Outline in Southern Lebanon and Being a Counterweight to Hezbollah?’.

“As part of the diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the conflict across the Lebanese-Israeli border the French outline was offered to Israel and Hezbollah. The settlement includes a mutual cease-fire, the withdrawal of Hezbollah forces 10 kilometers from the border, the deployment of around 15,000 Lebanese army soldiers near the southern border, and the commencement of land-border negotiations. Similar to UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which was enacted at the end of the Second Lebanon War, the Lebanese army bears the “responsibility” for putting the framework into operation. The reliance on the Lebanese army and the expectation that it will enforce the outline in practice are based on false hopes and contradict the facts on the ground.”

6) At UANI, Dror Doron discusses ‘The Shia Duo in Lebanon: The Role of Amal in Hezbollah’s Political Scheme’.

“The tension between Hezbollah and Israel keeps rising. While attempts to reach a diplomatic agreement to prevent further escalation have thus far failed, another aspect of Lebanese complexities has come into view, namely the complex interplay between the Shia Amal Party and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Nabih Berri, the leader of Amal and the speaker of the Lebanese parliament for the last three decades, has boosted Hezbollah’s legitimacy to continue its attacks on Israel. Berri has not only supported Hezbollah’s public narrative but has also exposed that Amal party members have joined the fighting alongside Hezbollah.”

7) The FDD provides a list of ‘10 Things to Know About the Palestinian Authority’.

“Israel has long sought a partner for peace to establish a two-state solution — the proposed resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that predates the 1948 establishment of the Jewish state. The Palestinian Authority (PA), forged initially from the 1993 Oslo Accords, is a transitional government that is still touted as the most obvious choice. However, after more than three decades and two presidents, the Palestinians have failed to convert the PA into a viable government. Poll after poll indicate that the PA’s corruption and dysfunction make it deeply unpopular among Palestinians in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”

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