All posts tagged: Hamass

The Theory of Hamas’s Catastrophic Success

The Theory of Hamas’s Catastrophic Success

Three days after Hamas’s attack on Israel, I called the operation a “catastrophic success.” Now Hamas itself is saying something similar. A strange report in Middle East Eye (a publication funded by Hamas-friendly Qatar) quotes Hamas leaders admitting that they intended to commit heinous war crimes, but not at this scale. Hamas “had in mind to take between 20 and 30 hostages,” a source told the reporter. “They had not bargained on the collapse of [Israel’s] Gaza Division. This produced a much bigger result.” By “bigger result,” the source presumably meant the murder, torture, and dismemberment of more than 1,400 Israelis, Thais, Nepalis, and others. Another bigger-than-anticipated result might be the invasion of Gaza. Had the dead and kidnapped numbered in the dozens, Israel would have had to consider its options. Once Hamas broke the three- and then four-digit barriers, Israel’s commitment to destroy Hamas completely became inevitable. Hamas’s main military benefactor, Iran, tends to mount attacks just under the threshold of causing all-out war. That pattern keeps the geopolitical consequences manageable. Hamas’s attack crossed …

Canada: Calling out university professors for statements supporting Hamas’s invasion of Israel

Canada: Calling out university professors for statements supporting Hamas’s invasion of Israel

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) just released a statement condemning those who criticized University professors who recently came out in support of Hamas terrorists, the Toronto Sun reports. Apparently, Jill Dunlop, the minister in charge of the province of Ontario’s colleges and universities not only listed the names of these professors but even read their outrageous statements in the Ontario legislature. Then the minister decided to call a duck, a duck and called them antisemitic. The CAUT was outraged that university professors should be held accountable for what they said. “Seems like Canada’s university professors want the freedom to make outrageous statements on social media but don’t want to be called out for those statements,” wrote Brian Lilley in his article for the Toronto Sun. In her statement in the Ontario legislature, Dunlop added: “These individuals thought they could hide behind the ivory tower. Well, it’s time for them to touch grass.” “These are the individuals who teach our students. They hold significant authority over the students they teach. How are our students …

A Close Read of Hamas’s Hostage-Taking Manual

A Close Read of Hamas’s Hostage-Taking Manual

A hostage-taking manual that an official in the Israel Defense Forces told me was recovered in the aftermath of the Hamas attack suggests that the group’s hostage-taking on October 7 did not go according to plan. Right now, more than 200 hostages are thought to be in Hamas’s hands in Gaza. The manual suggests that the group at first intended not to spirit all of them into Gaza, but instead to take them hostage where they were found inside Israel, possibly for a protracted standoff. The Atlantic obtained a copy of the manual from an IDF official, who vouched for its authenticity and who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the materials. Israeli President Isaac Herzog had earlier referred to the document in an interview on CNN, calling it “an instruction guide, how to go into civilian areas, into a kibbutz, a city, a moshav [agricultural coop].” He said it described “exactly how to torture them, how to abduct them, how to kidnap them.” Graeme Wood: What is Israel trying to …

How Israel underestimated Hamas’s intelligence capabilities – an expert reviews the evidence

How Israel underestimated Hamas’s intelligence capabilities – an expert reviews the evidence

Israel has a cutting-edge security technology industry and was (and still should be) considered to be the leading nation for national security. The controversial electronic intelligence platform Pegasus was developed in Israel, and the border between Israel and Gaza was considered – before the October 7 attack – to be a leading example of using sensors and machine learning to reduce the need for human guards while not reducing the strength of the security. But when Hamas fighters descended on the Supernova music festival on October 7, they had used drones to disable Israeli communication towers and remote-controlled machine guns. They also used unexpected tactics to breach the border. These included flooding the Iron Dome air defences with rockets, arriving on hang-gliders and demolishing the border with bulldozers (a likely echo of Israel’s use of bulldozers in occupied territories). Despite the sophistication of Israel’s border control technology, it remains vulnerable to an enemy who understands how it works and how to compromise it. The lesson for all security agencies after the Hamas attack is to …

Iran Isn’t Pulling Hamas’s Strings

Iran Isn’t Pulling Hamas’s Strings

The past week in Israel and the Palestinian territories has been horrific, and the next few weeks promise only more misery and pain. Every shooting war is also a war between competing narratives—each side has its preferred way of framing the conflict—and few have been as fiercely contested in this regard as the war between Israel and the Palestinians. A week in, we should pause to interrogate some of what we have heard combatants and pundits say. Hamas is ISIS. In the aftermath of the attacks on Israel, which included atrocities such as the murder of children and the elderly, Israel and its defenders have likened Hamas to the Islamic State, the violent Islamist movement that briefly took over large swaths of Iraq and Syria before its defeat by local forces. The comparison is at once understandable and misguided. I served as the senior Pentagon official responsible for the Middle East when we created the campaign plan that eventually defeated ISIS, and I remember the reporting—both open-source and classified—that clearly outlined the group’s ruthless nature. …

Hamas’s Genocidal Intentions Were Never a Secret

Hamas’s Genocidal Intentions Were Never a Secret

“Not every German who bought a copy of Mein Kampf necessarily read it … But it might be argued that had more non-Nazi Germans read it before 1933 and had the foreign statesmen of the world perused it carefully while there was still time, both Germany and the world might have been saved from catastrophe.” — William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich How many Israelis, or Jews, or anyone else for that matter, have read the 1988 Hamas Covenant or the revised charter that was issued in 2017? With 36 articles of only a few paragraphs’ length each in the former, and 42 concise statements of general principles and objectives in the latter, both are considerably shorter and more digestible than the 782-page original German-language edition of Mein Kampf. Moreover, unlike Hitler’s seminal work, which was not published in English until March 1939, excellent English translations of both the original Hamas Covenant and its successor can easily be found on the internet. Read: What would Hamas do if it could …

Hamas’s stealth attack will be remembered as Israeli intelligence failure for the ages | Israel

Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel, on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war, will be remembered as an intelligence failure for the ages. In the space of several hours, dozens of Gaza militants broke through the border fence into southern Israel, surprising local military positions. Gunmen kidnapped and murdered Israelis in the southern border communities, filming their assault as they advanced in numerous locations. In one instance, a Gaza television journalist delivered a stand-up report about one attack from inside Israel, an almost unthinkable moment. While the images of several thousand rockets sectoring the sky has become familiar over the years during the periodic upticks in fighting around Gaza, the footage of Hamas assault teams moving through the streets in communities such as Sderot, blowing the gates of a kibbutz and firing on passing cars and pedestrians, showed scenes not witnessed by most Israelis, for whom short-lived attacks in cities have become a fact of life. If it is surprising it is because Israel’s surveillance of Palestinian society is both highly sophisticated and highly …