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Political Analysts Respond to Lethal Hamas Assault: Comparisons to Israel’s 9/11

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Political Analysts Respond to Lethal Hamas Assault Comparisons to Israel's 911

As the Israel-Hamas conflict enters its second day, political analysts are reflecting on the situation, with some likening it to “Israel’s 9/11” and others viewing it as the culmination of a “50-year time bomb.” The conflict escalated when, at dawn on Saturday, the Palestinian militant group Hamas initiated a multifaceted assault on Israel, employing tactics by land, sea, and air. This offensive followed a preceding barrage of rockets launched from Gaza into Israel. It’s important to note that these events unfolded during a significant Jewish holiday and came just a day after the 50th anniversary of the Arab-Israeli war. According to Dan Steinbock, the founder of the global consultancy firm Difference Group, the attack was not entirely unexpected, given the underlying tensions.

Steinbock, in an email to CNBC, asserted that the Israeli-Hamas War is the logical outcome of five decades of unsuccessful military strategies. He also noted that this attack represents the most significant direct conflict within Israel’s borders since its establishment, making it a transformative development in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As of the time of this report, NBC News has reported at least 250 Israeli casualties and over 1,860 injuries, while the Palestinian Health Ministry has documented 256 fatalities and 1,790 injuries in Gaza.

Ian Bremmer, the president of Eurasia Group, likened the significant attacks launched by Hamas into Israel to a moment of great magnitude, stating, “This is nothing short of Israel’s equivalent of 9/11.” In a video analysis, Bremmer elaborated on Israel’s currently robust geopolitical position, highlighting its successful normalization of diplomatic ties with several nations. He specifically mentioned the Abraham Accords, which facilitated diplomatic relations between Israel and countries such as the UAE, Morocco, and Bahrain. Furthermore, there had been discussions about the potential normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Bremmer concluded that for Hamas leadership, facing regional political shifts and increasing international recognition of Israel’s right to exist likely played a role in their decision to engage in these unprecedented attacks against Israel.

Bremmer pointed out that the attack also revealed a significant lapse in intelligence and defense on Israel’s part, which he attributed to oversights resulting from the government’s recent judicial reforms. Israel’s defense system, notably the “Iron Dome,” has been a crucial element in safeguarding its densely populated regions since 2011. Although the Iron Dome boasts a reported 96% success rate, it was noteworthy that certain rockets launched by Hamas managed to circumvent these defenses, impacting buildings within Israel.

Israel has been grappling with a prolonged period of political unrest for several months, stemming from contentious judicial reforms advocated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government. As Bremmer noted, this ongoing situation has unquestionably diverted the attention of Israeli intelligence and has had a distracting effect on the Israeli military. Many members of the military expressed their reluctance to serve if the judicial overhaul were to proceed.

What are the implications of the ongoing conflict for the relationships between both parties and their Middle Eastern counterparts? Analysts anticipate that the conflict will likely disrupt a U.S.-mediated negotiation between Israel and Saudi Arabia aimed at establishing official diplomatic ties. Sanam Vakil, the Director of Chatham House’s Middle East North Africa Programme, remarked, “The violence has undoubtedly cast doubt on the prospects of a swift normalization process between Israel and Saudi Arabia. It has also served as a stark reminder to the international community that the issue of Palestine demands urgent conflict management and mediation.”

About Vijendra

Vijendra has a master’s degree in Marketing and editor with passion. Exploring economic policies of different economies and analyzing geo-politics policies is of keen interest. In his free time he is a hardcore metal-rock and punk music fanatic.

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