Weekend long read

1) At WINEP, Ghaith al-Omari asks ‘Can Hamas Be Defeated?’.

“Since Hamas’s attack against Israel on 7 October and the devastating war that Israel launched in response, the common wisdom has been that Hamas cannot be eradicated since ideologies cannot be defeated militarily. As a corollary, it is also often argued that military force threatens the exact opposite: radicalising a new generation of Palestinians—particularly in Gaza, swelling the Hamas ranks with new recruits.

Both arguments are wrong.”

2) At the JCPA, Khaled Abu Toameh asks ‘Does the Palestinian Authority Really Want to Return to Gaza?’.

“Although the PA has publicly indicated its desire to return to the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials in Ramallah say they know that this could not happen as long as Hamas’ military capabilities have not been completely destroyed.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas is not thinking about returning to the Gaza Strip, the officials say. His top concern right now is ensuring that Hamas does not win on the battlefield or in the arena of public opinion.

All he can do on the battlefield front is silently hope that Israel vanquishes Hamas and puts an end to the terrorist organization’s rule over the Gaza Strip.”

3) Raz Zimmt and Sima Shine discuss ‘The Iranian Nuclear Strategy’ at the INSS.

“In recent months, as Iran has approached the nuclear threshold and shortened the times for producing nuclear weapons, and as the monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency over the nuclear facilities has significantly declined, Iran could likely decide to change its policy and achieve nuclear weapons capability. Although a decision on this matter poses risks to Iran—military conflict with Israel and possibly even the United States—Iranian leader Ali Khamenei could retreat from his current position that maintaining the nuclear threshold is sufficient.”

4) At the Moshe Dayan Centre, Michael Barak looks at ‘Egypt’s Perspective on Israel’s War against Hamas in Gaza’.

“Al-Azhar Institute, traditionally regarded as the custodian of moderate interpretation to Islam, went farther and departed from its customary role by issuing a religious ruling that endorsed harm towards “Zionist settlers in the occupied lands.” This ruling was justified on the grounds that these settlers, deemed as occupiers of Palestinian territories, therefore are not recognized as civilians. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of al-Azhar, went to the extent of commending the 7/10 attack and encour­aged Palestinians to persist in their armed struggle within Israel, even at the cost of dying as martyrs.”

5) Writing at the City Journal, Eitan Fischberger takes a look at some of the Gaza-based photojournalists who have recently received awards from Western institutions.

“Photojournalists play an indispensable role in conflict zones. Their visual storytelling captures the stark realities of war in ways that words alone cannot. The images they capture transcend language barriers and evoke powerful responses from viewers. It’s concerning, then, that so many Gaza-based photojournalists seem to use their work and skills to benefit Palestinian terror groups—and that reputable journalistic institutions so often give them awards.”

6) MEMRI reports on reactions from Hamas and other factions to recent announcements by three European countries. 

“Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups were quick to praise the decision made by Norway, Ireland and Spain to recognize a Palestinian state, asserting that this decision is the result of the resistance and of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood (the October 7, 2023 Hamas-led massacres in southern Israel, in which over 1,200 Israelis were killed and over 240 were taken hostage).

The Palestine Resistance Committees, a terror group operating in the Gaza Strip under Hamas, stated that recognition of Palestine constitutes support for the jihad of the Palestinian people and confirms that armed resistance is the way to attain international support and resist occupation.”

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