September 26, 2022

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The battle of Gaza, because Hamas has remained in the shadows until now, and Israel avoids provoking it by targeting Islamic Jihad

Hamas has not yet actively participated in the fighting in the Gaza Strip. Of course, the leader of Hamas. Ismail Haniyeh – He blamed Israel for the escalation that began on Friday and threatened that “all options are open.” But its military leaders Stay in the tunnels Under Gaza City, while its “launchers” were waiting for orders that never arrived. Hamas did not seem worried about being drawn into a long-term confrontation with Israel. Taking to the field could have turned the battle into an all-out war. It seems that the Israeli bet on dividing the Islamic Front in Gaza has been successful so far.

Islamic Jihad, which is active in launching rockets these hours, is the smaller of the two main rockets Palestinian armed factions in the Gaza Strip, which Hamas has largely surpassed in terms of means and men. But It enjoys direct financial and military support from Iran It became the driving force for rocket attacks and other confrontations with Israel. Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, and kidnapped it militarily from the Palestinian National Authority Abu MazenThey are often limited in their ability to act because they have the responsibility of running the day-to-day affairs of a poor area and are always on the verge A humanitarian disaster. Islamic Jihad has no such duties, and thus emerged as the most hard-line faction, which also challenged Hamas’ authority several times.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad maintain a joint operations headquarters where military and political decisions must be agreed upon. At first glance, the two organizations have a common goal: to end the occupation and eliminate Israel. However, the ideological divisions prevent them from joining. Hamas, as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, built itself how populist social movement It is based on winning hearts and minds that will lead to the establishment of a state governed by Islamic law. The ideology of Islamic Jihad is to continue to fight and to remove unworthy regimes, and only then to establish one regime Islamic Sharia rule.

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While Hamas considers the reconstruction of Gaza, the economic improvement of its citizens, and the creation of broad popular support as essential steps on the path to achieving its ideological goal, Jihad has no interest in the reconstruction of the Gaza StripEstablishment of public and social welfare institutions or conduct political activities abroad beyond what
Extremely necessary to get money and weapons. In this context, profound differences have emerged between the two organizations over the years, despite their being forced to cooperate. While Hamas has a significant military and economic advantage, Islamic Jihad has the ability to strike at Hamas’s monopoly and undermine its control by exploiting the instinctive reactions of the IDF.

This rivalry also binds Israel and leads it to take contradictory actions that are interpreted as one confusing politics. On the one hand, Israel considers Hamas the supreme entity responsible for everything that happens in Gaza, and therefore assumes that Hamas must pay the price for any hostile military action, even when it comes from other groups. At the same time, so that Hamas can exercise its control – and be the only one with whom Israel deals with all its demands, especially when it comes to be quiet – It must be equipped with the necessary tools to manage civil affairs. This includes transferring money to pay for it payroll (coming from Qatar In agreement with Israel) and reconstruction in the Strip, thus strengthening popular support for Hamas.

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The roots of this contradiction go back to Israel’s decision Exploiting the strong rivalry between Fatah and Hamas, And between the Palestinian Authority and the leadership of the factions in the Gaza Strip to cancel any possibility of diplomatic negotiations. According to Israel, since the Palestinian National Authority cannot control Hamas or prevent its terror, it does not represent the entire people anyway
Therefore, it is a Palestinian who cannot be a partner in the negotiations. This policy has achieved its goals so far, but at the same time it not only strengthens the position of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, but also gives it The right to veto any diplomatic move. The need to maneuver between these contradictory considerations poses a serious dilemma for Israel and Hamas, the essence of which is how to respond in a way that does not force Hamas to cooperate with Islamic Jihad.

In these three days of fighting, Israel did not damage civilian infrastructure, Hamas bases, and weapons production facilities. It did not threaten to kill its leaders and continues to transmit messages through Egypt that The group is not on his target listThe. Ironically, this position imposes on Israel the need to differentiate between organizations and focus its military capabilities only on a secondary organization, contrary to its claim that Hamas is solely responsible, because now Israel really needs Hamas to limit the scope of the battle. And not turn it into another war.

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