Sinwar knows he won this round. Is he planning another surprise?  

Warning: this next post will likely depress and frustrate its readers. But this is our reality.

Every reasonable person understands, even those who continue to stand behind Netanyahu, that Hamas and its leader, Yahya Sinwar, won this battle.

For years, Sinwar enjoyed a lower status than the political leadership of Hamas in Qatar. But as of October 7, it is an organization led by him alone.

Sinwar must be aware and may have seen for himself the video released by the IDF spokesman several months ago in which Sinwar and part of his family were moving inside the tunnels. There is no doubt that this documentation brought laughter to the lips of the Hamas leader and others. The meaning of this video — Israel only has retrospective intelligence.

The security system is in trouble. Hamas apparently does not use digital communications at all. Certainly not his leadership and the forces holding the hostages. All will make it difficult for Israel to obtain quality intelligence. Without phones, without internet — it is very difficult for the security system to collect information with the means it uses today.

The main tool at its disposal is human intelligence. Informers or people who are taken in for investigations and give information. And it is likely that this exists sparingly. This makes it difficult to locate the hostages as well as Sinwar, Muhammad Daf, and others.

The relative “peace” that we have been “enjoying” in recent days, the absence of rocket fire and a small number of casualties (every soldier is a child and has a family) are also due to the reduction of the scope of the IDF’s activity in the Gaza Strip (among other things due to a lack of ammunition), but in my estimation, it is also a choice of Hamas leadership.

The leaders of Hamas in Gaza, led by Sinwar and Daf, know that they are the targets and most likely be caught. They are ready to die as “martyrs” after October 7th which they see as the biggest Palestinian success in the fight against the occupation. And when you have nothing to lose — you usually have the upper hand.

But let me assume that this silence is not due to Hamas’s lack of missile capability or the lack of means of combat. It is more likely that Hamas commanders were ordered to stop, to let Israelis “sleep” — to create surprises and significant damage to Israeli forces.

What is that surprise? Obviously, it is difficult to know. But Hamas has better intelligence on what is happening in the Gaza Strip than Israel’s intelligence. Its commanders in each region know where the IDF’s forces are concentrated, and where the weak points are, and therefore will try to hit them in the coming days.

I assume that our generals are not sufficiently afraid of such an event and certainly not prepared for it. In the view of our generals, the tremendous firepower we rained down on Gaza, it “showed Hamas and the Gazans who is the boss.” False.

Hamas and the residents of Gaza, even when most of them live in tents, feel that they have the upper hand. 20,000 more bombs and 50,000 more dead will not cause them to think differently. This is what happens when you have nothing to lose – you usually have the upper hand.

And of course, Israel’s real problem is in the north, where it is evident that Nasrallah understands he can push further and further without real retaliation from Israel. Hezbollah inflicts direct damage on IDF bases, and on civilians, and Israel is deterred. It is unclear what our generals and politicians think the endgame is for the situation in the North. 

The only thing that might allow the return of the residents to their homes is an agreement between Israel and Hezbollah according to Resolution 1701 of the UN Security Council + Israeli concessions on territories in dispute with Hezbollah.

The two main questions regarding the northern front are how long will the residents of the north be able to live and conduct themselves as refugees away from their homes, and the bigger question — what will happen if Donald Trump is elected in the US elections in November. Yes, despite the verdict against him in New York (which will likely be appealed and accepted), he will be the nominee and has a good chance of winning. Unfortunately.

Trump is an agent of chaos. Putin’s emissary at the White House. Despite the fading of Putin’s power after the failure in Ukraine, Trump still maintains loyalty to him.

And when Trump is president, anything can happen. World peace will be in real danger, and Israel will be in bigger trouble with its neighbors (backed by Russia and Iran).

Israel is dealing with a very difficult situation. If until October 7, we enjoyed the aura of an all-powerful security system, now our neighbors see how much there is nothing behind that aura.

Our security problems, which are unclear if they are solvable, are added to the economic problems arising from the costs of the ongoing war, the damage to the Israeli economy, the flight of foreign investments, and as a result, future waves of layoffs that are coming.

It is not clear how Israel can get out of all this, even if we replace Netanyahu with a magician.

But Israel’s only chance is to topple the current government and hope that the next government will release the hostages, think and act logically to end the fighting in Gaza and in the north since the continuation of the fighting does not help Israel and Israelis and we cannot achieve anything good by continuing the war.

About the Author
Attorney, former communications director for the Israeli government, lobbyist, strategy, former reporter for Galei Tzahal and Haaretz, former Shaliach to the US, CEO of The Israeli TV & Film Producers Association, Campaign manger for several parties and incumbents. Led several social causes, organizations, causes and unions. Life long volunteer and student.
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