"The Complex Goals and Strategies of Hamas and Iran in the Israel-Hamas Conflict"

Ali Alavi

Hatched by Ali Alavi

Jun 15, 2024

4 min read

1

"The Complex Goals and Strategies of Hamas and Iran in the Israel-Hamas Conflict"

Introduction:

The Israel-Hamas conflict has not only caused immense devastation to the people of Gaza but also raised questions about the goals and strategies of Hamas and Iran. In this article, we will delve into the motives behind Hamas's actions and its desire to change the governance structure in Gaza. Additionally, we will explore Iran's regional goals and its support for Hamas and other proxy groups. Understanding these complexities is crucial for envisioning the future of the conflict and preventing further escalation.

Hamas's Goals and Strategy:

Hamas's primary goal is the destruction of Israel, and it has pursued this through various means. One of its strategies has been to provoke Israel into a major land invasion of Gaza, which would lead to high numbers of Palestinian casualties and garner international sympathy for the Palestinian cause. By doing so, Hamas aims to position itself as a resistance movement and gain regional influence. However, it also seeks to relieve itself of the burden of governing Gaza, which it views as impeding its goal of destroying Israel. Hamas hopes to impose a Hezbollah model on Gaza, where it can wield political and military dominance without bearing the accountability of ruling alone. This strategy involves seeking reconciliation with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, with the ultimate goal of reshaping the Palestine Liberation Organization in its own image.

Iran's Regional Strategy:

For Iran, supporting Hamas and other proxy groups serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it allows Iran to defend an important Arab and Muslim cause, positioning itself as a champion of the Palestinian struggle against Israel. Secondly, it helps Iran contain Israel's regional influence and deter potential attacks on its territory. Iran's support for proxy groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis in Yemen has created a network of allies strategically positioned around Israel's borders. These groups serve as a deterrent against Israeli aggression. Lastly, Iran's regional strategy is driven by its quest for regime security, shaped by its experience in the Iran-Iraq War. The survival of the Islamic Republic in that conflict instilled a defensive mindset among Iran's leadership, leading to the development of proxy networks in weak and fractured states like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the Palestinian territories.

The Hezbollah Model and Regional Implications:

Hamas aspires to emulate the Hezbollah model, where it is both a part of and apart from the Palestinian governance structure. Hezbollah's integration into the weak Lebanese state allows it to influence policy and have autonomy in running its military. Hamas aims to achieve a similar status, exerting influence within a unified Palestinian government while maintaining its own independent fighting force. This model would enable Hamas to pursue its goal of destroying Israel while participating in the political process. However, incorporating Hamas into the governance structure would be detrimental to peace efforts, as its fundamental goals are incompatible with peaceful coexistence.

Preventing Further Escalation:

To prevent Hamas from achieving its goals and escalating the conflict, it is crucial for Israel, the United States, and their allies to exclude Hamas from any future Palestinian governance structure. Allowing Hamas to gain power would only lead to a more dangerous and destabilizing situation. Furthermore, efforts must be made to dismantle Hamas's political infrastructure in Gaza and provide alternative governance options. Without concerted action, Hamas may succeed in positioning itself as a significant player when the fighting subsides. Additionally, Iran's support for proxy groups must be countered, and its predatory practices in Lebanon and Iraq need to be addressed.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Strengthen international support for alternative governance structures in Gaza that exclude Hamas, focusing on providing essential services and improving the lives of Palestinians.
  • 2. Increase pressure on Iran to cease its support for Hamas and other proxy groups, both through diplomatic means and economic sanctions.
  • 3. Enhance intelligence and security cooperation among regional and Western allies to monitor and counter any attempts by Hamas and Iran to carry out terrorist attacks abroad.

Conclusion:

The Israel-Hamas conflict is not just a localized dispute but has broader implications for regional stability. Understanding the goals and strategies of Hamas and Iran is crucial for formulating effective policies to prevent further escalation and promote a durable settlement. By excluding Hamas from future governance structures and countering Iran's regional ambitions, there is a better chance of achieving peace and stability in the region.

Ali Alavi
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