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Who wishes to get rid of Hamas? (October 26, 2023)

Certainly the State of Israel does after October 7, 2023. But we are not alone. At least 107 countries have declared Hamas a terrorist organization. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other jihadist organizations threaten the security of most Middle Eastern countries, with the exception of Iran, Hamas's patron. Moreover, countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Saudi Arabia have been engaged in a struggle with jihadist organizations for many years. Reports from the Gaza Strip about Hamas’s use of civilians as human shields, its forcible efforts to prevent the evacuation of civilians from danger zones, and its other oppressive practices make it a danger also for the residents of Gaza. Surveys conducted near the outbreak of the war show that at least half of the residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip oppose the rule of Hamas. The Palestinian Authority sees it as a real adversary.

This shared regional and international hatred of Hamas is liable to fracture if a military operation by Israel is not part of an international endeavor to overthrow the rule of Hamas and to create guarantees that it, or any other jihadist organization, will not take control of Gaza again. Outcomes such as an Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip or an out-of-control humanitarian crisis would make it difficult for countries in the region to combat Hamas. Yet regional and international coalitions are able to defeat jihadist terrorist organizations, as the case of ISIS proved. Creating such a coalition requires the creation of a political horizon after the war.

We call on the Israeli government to take advantage of the opportunity and build a regional and international coalition that will strengthen the alliance of moderates and destroy the alliance of jihadists.

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