The Implications For Hamas’s Attack On Israel

Recent events could scramble Middle Eastern — and world — politics.

Written by Anthony Constantini

What’s happening: While the full extent of Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel is yet to be determined — as is the scope of Israel’s inevitable response — the wider implications for Israel, the region, and the world are already felt.

Israeli politics scrambled: In the wake of controversial judicial reforms, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government seemed to be on the ropes. Now, he is a wartime leader, and opposition leaders like former Defense Minister Benny Gantz and former Prime Minister Yair Lapid have both offered to form a wartime national unity government.

Saudi-Israeli diplomacy on ice: Hamas’s attack may have been an attempt to make it politically impossible for Saudi Arabia to move toward normalization with Israel. If so, Hamas may have succeeded in the short term. Within hours of the attacks, Saudi Arabia put out a statement blaming Israel for “the deprivation of” Palestinian rights. However, it did not formally call off any talks.

  • Keep in mind: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has been portrayed as more forward-thinking and less bound by ideology than his predecessors. It remains to be seen whether his possible desire for long-term stability will override the pressure to stand with the Palestinians.

America’s response: The U.S. has sent a carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean as a show of support for Israel. Though Americans have been confirmed among the dead and hostages, there is no indication yet of plans for military action.