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Hamas, the attack in the context of a Global Crisis

The surprise attack by Hamas on the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023, has raised questions about the stability and security of the region. Why did Hamas choose this particular moment to attack, and why does it appear that they faced little significant resistance? What will be the consequences of this attack? To better understand this event, let’s explore the possible reasons and the global context in which it occurred.

According to Martin Indyk, former US Ambassador to Israel, as interviewed by Foreign Affairs, there are several reasons behind Hamas’s attack.

First and foremost, Hamas seized the opportunity presented by the global geopolitical situation. Russia has long been a supporter of Hamas and has drawn international attention with its actions in Ukraine, effectively diverting focus away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Secondly, Hamas believed it could capitalize on the ongoing economic and political crisis in Israel. The divided and weakened Israeli government appeared vulnerable to the terrorist organization, which hoped to gain advantages from the situation.

Thirdly, through this show of force, Hamas aimed to consolidate its internal support. The organization had previously faced criticism for its inability to improve the living conditions of Palestinians in Gaza. With this attack, Hamas sought to position itself as the defender of the Palestinian cause.

Indyk also highlighted the shortcomings in the Israeli defense system that Hamas managed to bypass, despite Israel’s possession of sophisticated security systems. He described the event as a complete failure of the Israeli defense and intelligence system, which had underestimated Hamas’s willingness to attack.

Now, let’s consider the broader picture.

Hamas’s attack can be seen as a symptom of a wider trend towards instability and violence on a global scale. In the past three years, other violent events have occurred in Africa:

– In Chad, military officers deposed President Idriss Déby Itno on April 20, following his death in combat.
– In South Sudan, on October 25, a group of military officers deposed President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

– In Burkina Faso, a group of military officers deposed President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré on January 24.
– In Guinea, on September 5, a group of military officers deposed President Alpha Condé.
– In Mali, a group of military officers deposed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on May 24.
– In Sudan, on October 25, a group of military officers deposed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
– In Niger, on October 30, a group of military officers attempted a coup against President Mohamed Bazoum. The attempt was thwarted by forces loyal to the government.

– In Niger, on July 26, a group of military officers deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.
– In Gabon, on August 30, a group of soldiers attempted a coup against President Ali Bongo Ondimba. The attempt was repelled by forces loyal to the government.

Particularly in Mali, Chad, and Burkina Faso, these military takeovers have been accompanied by increased Chinese and Russian influence. China has made significant investments in infrastructure and natural resources in these countries, while Russia has provided arms and logistical support to the military.

In Mali, the military that seized power in 2020 received support from Russia, including weapons, training, and logistical assistance, while China provided economic and military assistance.

In Chad, General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, son of the late President Idriss Déby Itno, assumed power following his father’s death in combat. General Déby is an ally of Russia, which supplied Chad with arms and training.

In Burkina Faso, Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, a former French army officer, took power in 2022 and received support from both Russia and China.

It is challenging to definitively determine whether Chinese and Russian interference played a decisive role in these coups or in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, it is clear that these African countries have become increasingly significant in the global chessboard, heightening foreign powers’ interest in supporting military figures aligned with their interests.

Considering the above, is it possible that Russia had a role in Hamas’s attack?

There are potential reasons why Russia might have been involved in the attack:

  • To divert attention from the invasion of Ukraine. Hamas’s attack occurred at a time when international focus was concentrated on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, making it plausible that Hamas’s attack was intended to distract attention from Ukraine and bolster Russia’s position in the region.
  • To strengthen Hamas. Strengthening Hamas as an ally in the region would enhance its position in Palestine. Hamas’s attack demonstrated its ability to launch significant attacks against Israel.
  • To destabilize Israel. Creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and tension in the region makes finding a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more challenging.

In an era when we are inundated with a fast-food diet of quick, superficial information consumption, it is imperative that those presenting facts offer a broader perspective of what is happening in the world. We must move beyond the temptation of “fast-food” news, where events are consumed until the next devastating occurrence, without delving into their complex nuances.

A higher-level perspective, although not aspiring to be the indisputable truth or a definitive key to understanding, should be chosen, with the bitter awareness that it represents a clear reflection of what, with a degree of possibility, could be feasible.

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