Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Why Hamas Wants an Invasion

by Elliott Abrams
July 15, 2014


In rejecting the Egyptian proposal for a cease fire, Hamas appears to be rejecting the only way to avoid an Israeli ground incursion into Gaza. It is still possible that a cease fire will be put back together today, but time is running out to avoid that ground attack. Israel cannot keep 40,000 reservists sitting around for weeks while Hamas rockets fly.

My own views on this were put forward in The Weekly Standard today, and can be found here. Basically, I think Hamas is losing this war badly and is unwilling to accept that defeat–whatever the cost to Gazans. Hamas has done little property damage in Israel, has not hit any symbolically important target, and has killed not one single Israeli. The Egyptian proposal would have stopped the fighting but not given Hamas any of its stated goals, such as getting the release of Hamas terrorists who had been exchanged for Gilad Shalit but recently re-arrested. Hamas also appears to want Turkey or Qatar to mediate the cease fire, because it views Egypt as deeply hostile under its new government.

If Israel comes into Gaza, one has to assume some IDF soldiers will be killed. Perhaps then Hamas will claim a partial victory and agree to a cease fire. This is a polite way of saying Hamas feels it has not spilled enough Israeli blood and wants some- and of course is unconcerned about how many Palestinians will die.

Here’s article eight of the Hamas Charter:

The Slogan of the Hamas
Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief.


Post a Comment 7 Comments

  • Posted by EthanP

    I suspect that Hamas has mined large sections of Gaza. Remember that in Jenin most of an Israeli platoon was killed and injured giving the Intifada one of it’s few victories. No matter how many Gazan’s are killed, if Hamas can claim victory if they can do the same. And if lots of children are killed it’s a win/win for Hamas. Everyone will blame those fascist Israeli’s, no matter Hamas guilt.

  • Posted by Eman

    ” The Egyptian proposal would have stopped the fighting but not given Hamas any of its stated goals, such as getting the release of Hamas terrorists who had been killed in the exchange for Gilad Shalit but recently re-arrested.”

    They were killed and re-arrested? Someone needs to fact check this. All of it. Including Hamas’s slogan. The conclusion is pretty far off too…but considering the authors belief that Hamas wants dead soldiers who were re-arrested released, I’d say logic and the author are not friends.

  • Posted by Elliott Abrams

    You’re right–the typo about the people exchanged for Hamas guys has been corrected.
    But you can google the Hamas Charter and you will see the text of Article Eight.

  • Posted by RAM

    With all its prep time ahead of the latest hostilities, the Israel Defense Force should have developed an effective contingency plan for rooting out key Hamas elements (personnel, materiel) embedded in Gaza. The decision here will be based on political considerations, which are constantly changing as the US under Obama tries to back out of the region (except for destabilizing it in favor of Muslim radicals from time to time).

  • Posted by George Weiss

    i disagree with you. a ground operation is necessary to destroy targets that can not be destroyed from the air. So what if Hamas claims a victory. Israel should demand an unconditional surrender if it invades Gaza, Germany could have claimed a victory also because it killed many of the enemies.

  • Posted by Sheila Novitz

    Reading the Slogan of the Hamas, Article Eight of their Charter, trying to summon up even an ounce of understanding is an impossibility for me. It is meaningless rubbish, leading as it does to such intense hatreds that they use their own people as human shields, cause the deaths of their own people without a shred of regret – apart, of course, from the public yelling, screaming and shrieking meant to gain a sympathy vote. They are an empty people, and that sympathy vote could be on the verge of disintegration: Even a member of the South African ANC government has a video out there about the lies Arabs tell about “apartheid” in Israel.

  • Posted by jaali

    I absolutely stand for the state of Israel. Hamas determination to wipe out Israel off the map is strongly supported by Iran and Qatar, partially by all the Islamist around the world. Truly, Islam is not a peaceful religion. All over the world, it is well known for terrorism, and hunger for world “ummah” (domination), which is a threat to all other religious groups. Allah is not God at all. Isa loved all people including all Muslims who have been deceived by their false prophet. I pray that all Muslims come to know the one true God who loves them so much that He gave His only Son, Isa to die on the cross to pay the penalty of all humanity’s sins. Thank you!

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