The erosion of Israeli deterrence

Senior officials in Hamas claim that the war from several fronts against Israel has completely eroded its deterrent power. Israel must take several steps to strengthen its deterrence, this has consequences for the continued confrontation with the "axis of evil" led by Iran.

The Hamas organization is very encouraged by Iran’s entry into an open war against Israel as reflected in the large missile and drone attack on it on April 13.

The leadership of Hamas expects that Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei will keep his promise to the movement’s leader Ismail Haniyeh that he will not allow Israel to topple the rule of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians are encouraged by Iran’s great military strength, its very daring to attack Israel with 500 missiles and drones is, in the eyes of the Palestinians, a sign of the weakening of Israel’s deterrent power and the increase of Iranian boldness, which for many years contained the Israeli attacks on Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq.

Although Israel responded correctly to the Iranian attack and from a strategic point of view, there is a process of elation and improvement in morale among some Palestinians in regards to Israel’s weakening, to which must be added the errors it made, such as the unnecessary delay in the IDF’s activity in the Gaza Strip for several weeks, and the beginning of the withdrawal of senior IDF officers from the military service against the backdrop of the October 7 failure, all of these contribute to the feeling that Israel is mired in deep mud in the Gaza Strip in a long, never-ending war of attrition.

Hamas is spreading fake news that the operation in Rafah will not bring Israel any achievements and that it is deeply rooted in the Gaza Strip and will not release any Israeli hostage until Israel stops the war and withdraws from all parts of the strip, it is trying to strengthen morale among the Palestinians.

Hamas notes with satisfaction the escalation initiated by Hezbollah in recent days on the northern border with Israel and estimates that the Shiite militias in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen will soon increase their attacks on Israel with missiles and drones. Hamas officials claim that without US military aid to Israel, it would have collapsed a long time ago.

Hamas also hopes that the demonstrations in Israel against the Netanyahu government by the families of the hostages and the opposition parties will increase.

Strengthening Israeli deterrence

Hamas sees the current war as the Palestinian “liberation war” supported by Iran and its affiliates, even though the IDF captured most of the Gaza Strip and began destroying Hamas’ military infrastructure, they still claim “victory”, therefore, it is very important that Israel take a series of steps to strengthen its deterrent power.

Iran changed the rules of the game and went to open war against Israel while firing hundreds of ballistic missiles and UAVs, the Israeli response was correct and measured but it must not be interpreted as Israeli weakness, therefore Israel must not agree to change the rules of the game and must continue its attacks on Iranian targets in Iraq and Syria.

Israel must take into account that the US has interests in the Middle East, vis-à-vis Iran, Saudi Arabia and the moderate Arab countries, it also has military bases in the region and Russia and China are trying to erode its position, therefore, despite its support for Israel, it will not give up its interests.

The Biden administration does not want a regional war in the Middle East, nor does it intend to act militarily against Iran, Israel is alone in this section and must carefully manage its steps.

It is very important that Israel resumes military activity in the northern Gaza Strip and soon embarks on the military operation in Rafah.

The capture of Rafah and the capture of the “Philadelphia Corridor” will greatly contribute to strengthening Israel’s deterrence against Hamas and also have an impact on the continuation of the fighting against Hezbollah.

Israel must reach a clear military decision in the Gaza Strip and topple the Hamas regime.

The time has also come for Israel to make a decision about the day after the war in the Gaza Strip and who will control it.

Any Israeli decision that is made is important, it will make it clear to Hamas and its supporters in the Strip that Hamas rule has come to an end and has an important morale effect on the areana.

At the same time, it is very important to continue the IDF’s initiated operations against the terrorist infrastructure in northern Samaria, the IDF has many successes and this is an important factor in Israeli deterrence.

Israel’s next test is the test against Hezbollah, therefore it is very important that Israel ends the war in the Gaza Strip with a clear victory that will reverberate throughout the Middle East, it must collapse the rule of Hamas and return all the hostages.

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”. 

Recent Posts

My Twitter