Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin
Psychoanalyst & Counter Terrorist Expert

Hamas’s ‘Metro’: Their Fuel ‘Issue’ – Part I

screenshot Wikicommons

Could Hamas be psychologically “running on empty”?

By Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin, Ph.D.

War Blog #16 (revised 08.11.23)

Hamas’s “Metro”= A concrete representation of their psychotic mind?
‘Fauda’ creator Issacharoff wrote that ‘We cannot even imagine’ the extent of Gaza’s tunnels.” cf.

I beg to differ. If you are trained in identifying psychosis and its behavior, you come to understand that the group psychosis has an extremely elaborate fused group mind, filled with a rage that exceeds murder itself. However, to the average viewer Hamas can look sort of “normal” yet we have known for a long time from many studies about the engineers of jihad that they are psychotic. Cf. Diego Gambetta and Stefen Hertog’s work as well as my essay co-authored with Norman Simms z”l entitled Jihaditism? Parallels between Autism and Terrorism published

“[Hamas] built this underground city to operate out of our sight. These tunnels will become death traps in the next war. My advice to them is, stay out of the tunnels,” one source from IDF Southern Command told JNS back in 2017.

It is as if Hamas were school children who had been assigned for homework a project – build a model of your mind. And so, they went off and laboriously built an elaborate “city” which the Israeli defense system sarcastically refers to as “The Metro.” The massive concrete underground city in Gaza exists in reality but it really should be understood as a concrete representation of their idea of their mind and its psychosis attached to their mother’s body. Yep, you read that right. Hamas has attempted to return to the concrete womb of their mother by means of the Metro.

Hamas of course doesn’t realize this. They are blinded by their neediness and deprivation because they have primitive mental states. In War Blog #13 Hamas’s Tunnel Vision I sketched out how the tunnel unconsciously reflects how they conceptualize the mother’s body. They are very confused psychologically. Why is this important? Because this level of knowledge disconnects our maternal terrors from theirs. It forestalls denial. We just witnessed the tragedy of relying on the Gaza fence because of being in denial. Knowledge of the unconscious is a powerful tool.

So, what does all this screaming about fuel really mean for Hamas? What are they communicating unconsciously about their state of mind?

First, Hamas’s scream for fuel has been shown to be untrue as they have been hoarding fuel under Shifa Hospital. Also they have been using the Indonesian funded hospital in Gaza but the Indonesians defensively claim that is not the case because they have been exposed and harbor huge shame.

This has been well documented.

Second, then the cry for more fuel should also be read metaphorically and in relation to Hamas’s delusional internal world. In their psychotic pantomime they are signing that they have become emotionally and psychologically depleted.

While it is true that they will, in fact, eventually run out of fuel to operate their rockets because hoarding wasn’t enough.

According to a report by Walla on Tuesday, fuel scarcity in Gaza will render whole sections of Hamas’s underground structures uninhabitable. The lack of fuel will halt electricity and air ventilation in these tunnels, forcing terror operatives and leadership to abandon their subterranean havens.

Hoarding leads to the subject of greed.

Hamas’s Greed
Hamas has saved the fuel for themselves not the hospital.

This insatiable hunger and deprivation have been exposed in their push to invade boundaries such as the Gaza fence, acquire and control, and then destroy all. Greed is a defense mechanism to ward off deprivation and results in destroying the target of Hamas’s envy – Israel. They even engage in looting. Hamas is “running on empty.” Their energy crisis.

Deprivation is the primitive state of unmet needs vis à vis the mother. The hunger that cannot be sated and inability to express needs appropriately in a shame‒honor environment, have propelled Hamas’s omnipotence and grandiosity, pouring more fuel on the fire of greed. Fire, along with the rage, is emblematic of Hamas’s October 7 massacre; they set homes on fire with people inside them. In the past they have sent incendiary balloon. What fuels or justifies the aggression are promises that fulfill group fantasies such as the 72 virgins.

Hamas’s psychotic messy triad of affect, language and cognition
Affect, language, and cognition are all important on their own, yet they are also intimately connected and overlapping. To use an analogy: affect is the motivator, the driveness, goal, direction; language is the vehicle, the vehicle by which much can be accomplished; and cognition is the fuel, without which nothing much can happen … affect, language, and cognition as an integrated system. Each is important; and all are connected. Quoting P. Holinger cf. The Jihadi Dictionary: The Essential Intel Tool for Military, Law Enforcement, Government and the Concerned Public. 2016

However, Hamas has a cognitive deficit, which means that their affect and language have been thrown off the normative path of synergistic positive development. The end result is the manifestation of unleashed rage, a rage that exceeds murder itself. This is the affect that drives them to annihilate. Language is not appropriately used to put feelings into words; rather, language remains superficial in its development and is disconnected from their inner world. Like the movie Inside Out, which seeks to explain the interrelationship of language and affect, with Hamas you see the “inside” of their crudely developed minds strewn and painted across the canvas of life in gruesome graphic imagery as in the case of the Metro.

To conclude
By connecting the dots of Hamas’s cry for “fuel” to the mother’s body and their concrete tunnel system, the depth of their greediness, hoarding and aggression is seen. It reveals to us not just that Hamas wants more fuel for their nefarious endeavor but more importantly that they are emotionally and psychologically depleted in this war and that they are “running on empty.” They have been caught and exposed. Their tunnel vision is that they lack the capacity to turn the corner and take a good look at themselves and ponder about where all their rage is coming from. On account of their unbridled greed, Hamas has made the faulty assumption that they would always have all the “fuel” that they would need. Ironically, they fail to understand that for them their “fuel supply” has always been the dysfunctional fusion with their mother. Indeed, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Hamas’s central command room is literally located under the maternity ward’s delivery room of Shifa Hospital connected by a “umbilicus” shaft.


About the Author
Dr. Kobrin made aliyah in 2010 and is an internationally renowned counterterrorism expert and psychoanalyst holding a PhD in Islamic literature, aljamía 16th c. Author of five books. She has conducted prison interviews, a former military contractor with an academic appointment as external expert at La Universidad de Granada. She is a senior research analyst for The Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism Center. She also works in citizen diplomacy. In August 2020 she was the first Israeli to be live-streamed from Islamabad.
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