Hamas Plans to Secure Power and Release Prisoners

Hamas is strategizing to leverage Israeli hostages in its possession as bargaining tools for the release of all Palestinian prisoners, the lifting of the blockade over the Gaza Strip, and the establishment of a seaport. However, Israeli security officials assert that the Hamas leadership is disconnected from reality and emphasize that the conflict will persist following the current ceasefire.

 Israeli security officials point out a misconception by Hamas and Islamic Jihad regarding the ongoing prisoner exchange deal and the four-day ceasefire.

According to them, Hamas and Islamic Jihad believe they have gained the upper hand in the conflict due to the halt in the Israeli attack’s momentum, presuming that Israel will face challenges in resuming the campaign after the ceasefire concludes.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad aim to prolong the conflict by presenting “temptations” through the release of additional hostages, predominantly civilians, using a method they term the “Salami method.”

Simultaneously, captured IDF soldiers will be held until the end of the war.

These moves will be coupled with intense pressure from Arab countries and the international community on Israel.

Ziyad Al-Nachala, the Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad, expressed these intentions, stating that Palestinian factions would compel Israel to release all security prisoners based on the “all for all” formula.

Additionally, he hinted at imposing political conditions on Israel, promising “new horizons for the Palestinian people.”

Hamas insists that the release of all Israeli abductees is contingent on Israel agreeing to guarantees to lift the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007 and permitting the establishment of a seaport.

In response, Israeli security officials assert that Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders abroad are out of touch with the reality on the ground in Gaza.

They emphasize that the IDF’s goals, as approved by the Cabinet, remain unchanged: to overthrow Hamas’s rule, destroy its military infrastructure, and secure the release of all abductees.

Fatah movement sources in Gaza reveal that the military wing of Hamas currently makes decisions within the movement, including political ones, given their frontline role against the IDF.

The power of senior Hamas officials in Qatar and Lebanon is noted to have diminished.

Despite the current ceasefire and the provision of fuel and humanitarian aid as part of the prisoner exchange deal, Israeli security officials believe that these concessions provide Hamas’s military wing with the breathing space to continue fighting for at least two more month.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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