By Rakib Al Hasan
June 8, 2021 – TEHRAN TIMES
After series of devastating Israeli airstrikes for more than 10 days, a ceasefire was declared by both Hamas and the Israeli regime. The fighting cost more than 248 Palestinian lives. It also led to massive destruction of properties in the Gaza strip.
Now with the end of the conflict, both sides are measuring their costs and successes. Both sides are claiming major victory. According to the Israeli leadership, the offensives have achieved their goals and they can measure these as successes. On the other hand, Hamas is also claiming that it has successfully defended the Palestinian people.
Hamas is an armed resistance group that Western powers consider it as a “terrorist” organization. On the other hand, Israel is a regime with massive military strength. Thus, the objectives of a conflict between such two actors depend mainly on military and political grounds.
If we talk about the Israeli side, the government and military claimed that Hamas can be dealt with in two ways. One, by completely conquering it, and two, by destroying its combat capability. So, have Israel achieved these two goals so far?
First of all, militarily Israel has destroyed many civil targets. In the latest fight against Hamas, they killed at least 63 children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Although Israel could intercept some of 340 rockets launched from Gaza, Israel’s Iron Dom showed that it is incapable to work in any possible clash. They also destroyed a key research and development center claiming that it was a Hamas base.
In terms of the political achievements from the latest fight, Israel has gained lesser. The fight could have given a lifeline domestically for the Israeli PM Netanyahu but it has cost Israel a lot diplomatically. The international support for the Palestinians has gained new momentum.
If we go to war, there will be casualties. Many people have to give their lives. No war has ever taken place without revenge. So, the main issue is who has won the war and whose objective has been achieved more than the loss in the war. So, the achievements of Hamas in this war can be seen by analyzing a little.
• In this battle, the Iron Dome was seen playing a little. If too many rockets or missiles are fired at once, the Iron Dome cannot properly detect it. About 60% of Hamas’s 4,000-plus rockets have been detected. This weakness of the Iron Dome became known, which would later make Hamas more practical.
• For so long, everyone believed in the exclusive Western narrative. Even the barbaric attacks on Muslims in the name of self-defense did not deter the Western world. CNN, New York Times, Guardian, Reuters, etc. also blindly believed such a narrative. But international media outlets such as Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, TRT, Anadolu have been able to unmask the West against this propaganda. As a result, although the name of Israel was not mentioned in the beginning, now almost all the Western media is mentioning the name of Israel.
After a loss in the media war, Israel demolished the Al Jazeera building in Gaza. Had it not been for the AP in the same building, they might not have hesitated to kill the Al Jazeera team.
• Palestine has received unprecedented support in this war. Many figures and leaders, including the Irish MP, the Austrian MP, Mark Ruffalo, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Ayatollah Khamenei and Erdogan were in favor of Palestine. There have been small and large rallies in almost all countries, including London, the United States, Paris, Turkey, and Qatar. A fund has been set up in distant Bangladesh at the initiative of the Palestinian embassy. In the outside world, it will play a huge role in increasing the acceptance of Palestine and Hamas as well as motivating the fighters.
• The project that the West has undertaken to make Hamas a terrorist group has come to naught. They have also shown through their protests the mischievous attempts to portray Hamas as a terrorist group and to show the world who the real terrorists are.
• It has become clear to the Muslim world, including Hamas, who are the friends and who are the enemies of the Muslims. Who incites the killing of innocent children by uttering the words of humanity. Israel lacks moral right to talk about this issue, especially when it violates international human rights law.
• Israel has been portrayed in recent times as invincible or irresistible, but in practice they are not. The death of an Israeli citizen is a very sensitive issue in Israel. The politicians of that country do not want to take that risk. So, they are also a bit timid. This idea has now been established with Hamas. Hamas now believes that only a good range of missiles can stop Israel.
• The Muslim world is growing angry and uneasy over, day after day, of bombings and civilian casualties in Gaza. An emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation called OIC was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Israeli security analysts believe that the so-called “Abraham Accord” peace agreement, following the Israeli attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the subsequent deaths in Gaza, will be under more pressure.
• Iran has helped Hamas with technology. Several other Muslim countries are helping with the intelligence team. Training in Syria. As a result, a strong bond will be formed between these countries because of Palestine. Together, they can do everything possible to help rescue Gaza, as Turkey has done to Azerbaijan.
• From now on, Muslim children may want to be as brave as Palestinian children in the way the protests of Palestinian children in Gaza have sparked worldwide discussion. Maybe this Palestinian issue can reunite Muslims around the world.
• The most important event in this conflict is that for the first time Hamas has been able to provoke the Arab population inside Israel. This is a big strategic achievement for Hamas and a big headache for Israel. Hamas has now successfully hijacked the protests that erupted between Palestinians and Israeli police in Jerusalem in the beginning of Ramadan. Mohammad Deif, Hamas military wing leader, issued a threat against Israel over protests. Many Palestinians even in Jerusalem began chanting slogans and praised Hamas.
Hamas decision to fire rockets at Jerusalem has enabled it to present itself as a very credible Resistance Group. They present themselves as those people who would do anything to support the Palestinians in Jerusalem. They say they are protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque compound from being Judaized.
• Hamas has been successful to draw attention to President Mahmoud Abbas and his incompetence. Hamas showed him as a weak leader. Now Hamas has achieved the center stage in negotiations with Egyptian, Qatari and United Nations mediators. It is said that Hamas lost the power to show its influence through the ballot box after the elections were postponed by Mahmoud Abbas. They were set to take place on May 22 and July 31, 2021. Now through these current events Hamas has shown that it is the leading player in Palestinian arena and is popular among the population.
It is expected that when the next elections would take place Hamas would enter the fray with an upper hand. It is also expected that Jerusalem would be the main theme of Hamas in contesting the next elections. It would be acting as a defender of Al-Aqsa Mosque and a liberator of Jerusalem.