Iliya Kusa: The escalation could have been related to the desire of Hamas militants to disrupt the conclusion of a political deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia
Iliya Kusa, an analyst at the Ukrainian Institute for the Future and an expert in international politics and the Middle East, has made some interim conclusions regarding the latest escalation between Israel and Gaza.
"Between Israel and Gaza, another escalation is underway, and some preliminary conclusions can already be drawn.
Israel was clearly unprepared for this, and it will have implications for domestic politics once the hostilities end. It may even lead to the resignation of the government, as it did in 2021.
Hamas militants conducted a combined attack using rocket strikes, explosive-laden drones, small mobile special forces units, and drones. There's an obvious change in tactics compared to previous operations, allowing them to infiltrate Israeli territory, seize a border base, and even several populated areas.
Currently, the war is between Gaza and Israel, as usual. It's not appropriate to talk about a war of apocalyptic regional proportions at this point. Whether there will be an uprising on the West Bank is unclear. Hezbollah has not joined the war, and neither have Iranian groups in Syria. We need to keep an eye on the situation.
The escalation could be related to the desire of Hamas militants to disrupt a political deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Arab countries will now be forced to react and may not openly support Israel due to sympathy among their populations for the Palestinians.
This could pause the normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, but it's unlikely to completely derail it.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will be forced to react, partly to save face. He might opt for a ground military operation in Gaza, which would be complex, costly, and bloody. The outcome is uncertain, especially considering that the question of "What to do with Gaza?" has remained unanswered for many years."