The October 7th offensive initiated by Hamas should not be dismissed as a mere impulsive act of terrorism that fortuitously achieved its objectives. Instead, it should be understood as a meticulously planned, funded, and executed operation orchestrated by Iran, with implicit consent from Russia—a crucial ally without whom Iran would hesitate to act. This assault on Israel appears to be a component of a broader, more sophisticated strategy devised by Iran, potentially ensnaring Israel in a perilous three-tiered trap.
The Iranian strategy can be dissected into three phases:
Phase 1: The initial wave of brutal attacks and incursions, deliberately timed to coincide with Shabbat and Sukkot/Simchat Torah holidays, aimed to eliciting maximum shock and terror. These acts of aggression sought to compel Israel to launch a substantial ground operation in Gaza, fueled by a combination of retribution and the imperative to demonstrate Israel’s might to its adversaries. This initial phase has reached its conclusion.
Phase 2: Once the IDF is heavily engaged in Gaza, the second phase of the Iranian strategy would be set into motion. Hezbollah, armed with superior capabilities enhanced by extensive training and support from Iran, can launch a series of attacks surpassing the severity of those by Hamas. The utilization of Hamas by the Iranians in the initial phase can be likened to “Canon Fodder”, resulting in significant casualties on both sides. With Hezbollah already attacking from the north, the second phase of the Iranian strategy is already unfolding before our eyes.
This northern offensive against Hezbollah from Lebanon (and potentially Syria) is anticipated to be of grave intensity, necessitating the IDF to divide its forces. This division could set the stage for the third and final phase of the Iranian three-pronged strategy: the activation of sleeper cells within Arab-Israeli communities, coupled with a large-scale operation by Hamas and Hezbollah involving hundreds, if not thousands, of attacks on various fronts within Israel. There is also the possibility of missile attacks originating from Iran or Syria. Furthermore, Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah might incite their global network of followers and sympathizers to target Jewish individuals and interests worldwide.
In light of this, it is imperative for the Israeli government exercise caution from deploying ground forces into Gaza until it can safely do so. Instead, Israel should intensify its efforts to incapacitate Gaza by cutting off its supply of fuel, water, electricity, and other essential goods. It could also disruption all communications, including radio, cellular, internet, and more. Such measures, reminiscent of the strategy employed against the Egyptian military during the Yom Kippur War, would effectively cripple Hamas’ operational capabilities in Gaza within a matter of days or weeks. With their resources dwindling, the focus of Hamas will quickly shift from demanding prisoner exchanges to securing essential supplies like food and water. The individuals abducted by Hamas are invaluable assets; hence, Hamas is likely to go to great lengths to ensure their survival, even if it necessitates sharing their limited provisions.
Israel must seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and launch a preemptive strike against Hezbollah and Iran, akin to the decisive action that could have altered the course of the Yom Kippur War. All the while choking off Gaza until it is ripe for a ground invasion. With unprecedented international support, and the USS Gerald R. Ford and its accompanying strike force on the way, now is also the perfect time moment for Israel to neutralize the Hamas, Hezbollah and Iranian threats once and for all and deter its enemies for the next hundred years.