An expert has claimed that there is “very little hope” that Hamas will retain their power after the 7 October attack on southern Israel.
Israeli military have mobilised 360,000 reservists who are preparing for an offensive on the Gaza Strip which be brutal and difficult on both sides.
As a result Hamas has put “itself in an impossible position” as they are outnumbered and outgunned and do not have the sophisticated military equipment that Israel has.
Jon Alterman, the head of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote a published analysis of the conflict on the ground in Israel and Gaza.
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Alterman wrote, “Hamas aimed to penetrate Israel in a way that would give it centrality and relevance for decades to come, but by killing hundreds of Israelis and taking 150 hostages in the first days, Hamas has put itself in an impossible position.
“Israel is united in its determination to change the status quo ante and completely push Hamas from power.
“It is hard to imagine that Hamas will be able to retain power in Gaza when the dust settles. There may be hope for the Palestinian national cause, but there’s very little hope for Hamas.”
“Since Hamas took power in 2007, the Israeli military periodically would go into Gaza, fight with Hamas, and destroy some of its infrastructure. Hamas would rebuild for a few years, and then the cycle would repeat itself,” Alterman continued.
“Israelis called this ‘mowing the grass,’ an unpleasant but necessary repetitive task.”
“This cycle is no longer going to be acceptable to the Israeli public or political leadership. Now, the question is what kind of government will emerge in Gaza after the war.”
Alterman said that once this is all over then this could help with greater control for the Palestinian National Authority based in Ramallah, some sort of new local governance, governance under the tutelage of the Israeli military, or perhaps a coalition of Arab states.
“There are a lot of possibilities, but it is hard to imagine that Hamas can remain in power.”
Alterman said that Hamas taking hostages is unprecedented and this will dramatically affect the events that will happen next with Israel’s offensive in Gaza.
“Hamas took so many hostages from so many different places, threatened to use them as human shields, and threatened to execute them as part of its war aims,” he wrote.
“The Israelis have said that the hostages will not affect their calculations, but that is likely untrue.”
“At the same time, Israel is not likely to forgo its determination to have a comprehensive ground operation in Gaza that pushes Hamas from power because of the hostages.”
Alterman added,“Strategically, Israel will likely act irrespective of the hostages while tactically trying to free hostages in any way that it can. Social media coverage of the hostages could change this, but it is unlikely.”