Time is running out for Hamas.
In the two months since Hamas terrorists perpetrated the worst mass slaughter of Jewish civilians since the Holocaust, much has changed for the nation of Israel and its citizens.
The still-fledging “Start-Up Nation” is looking a bit more shaky in the aftermath of the attack. Foreign investments in Israel are sure to be thinning out in the coming months if they haven’t already — at least in the short term.
Israel has also long enjoyed a bustling tourist trade, as pilgrims from three of the world’s most preeminent faiths converged on the jewel of the Holy Land year after year. Plenty of the world’s devout Christians, Muslims, and Jews will still be willing to brave physical dangers to visit the spiritual wonders of Jerusalem in 2024 and 2025.
Many will not.
Other would-be tourists are sure to be discouraged by the extra costs bound to be associated with visiting Israel post-October 7. Increased security means increased costs — it also means more checkpoints, longer delays, and more difficult travel within Israel. It may mean a longer, more expensive process to pass security pre-qualifications.
But as October 7 made clear: Israel’s future, short and long-term, is dependent on eliminating the threat of Hamas. And while Hamas may indeed be headed towards a bloody and ignominious end, the terrorist organization still managed to hurt Israel — badly — despite the greater relative wealth, more powerful security apparatus, and better weaponry of its opponent.
While few experts agree as to what Israel should do next, most qualified foreign policy analysts agree about one thing: Israel can’t return to the old status quo standoff against the terrorist forces of Hamas.
“The End of Israel’s Gaza Illusions,” observed Assaf Orion for Foreign Policy magazine on November 2, 2023.
“On the morning of October 7, the last day of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, Israel woke up to a double catastrophe,” began Orion. “The attack by about 3,000 Hamas terrorists against Israel’s southern communities and defense forces was utterly devastating for the Israeli population, leaving at least 1,200 Israelis dead and more than 240 kidnapped in Gaza. But it was also devastating for Israeli defense policy.”
“Almost instantly, the concepts, policies, and beliefs that had for so long governed Israeli security doctrine came crashing down,” noted Orion. “Among them were the assumptions that the Palestinian conflict could be contained, that Hamas had put its own governance and the economic well-being of the Gaza Strip ahead of its jihadi ideology and its genocidal plans for Israel, and that simply having a far stronger military than Hamas’s was sufficient.”
Two months on from the attack, Israel’s defense forces seem to have Hamas on the ropes.
“You’re hearing that these prisoners, these Hamas leaders, are now turning on some of the other leaders in southern Gaza,” began Fox News host Trace Gallagher in a recent interview with Israeli special ops veteran, Aaron Cohen. “What are you finding out?”
“That’s exactly what’s happening,” replied Cohen. “What I’m hearing is this: Yousef al-Mansi, the former communications minister for Hamas in Gaza, has just been interrogated. He was part of the 500-plus Hamas members who were taken prisoner by the Israelis. He surrendered to the IDF because of that pressure cooker of a campaign that Israel has been putting on for the last 60-plus days.”
“Gallant: Hamas battalions once ‘considered invincible’ now ‘on verge of collapse,’” added Emanuel Fabian for the Times of Israel, in a bit of good news on Day 67 of Israel’s war against Hamas. “IDF says 500 terror suspects held in the past month, some took part in Oct. 7 slaughter; Kerem Shalom crossing to open to ease aid flow as clips show apparent theft, looting of goods.”
“We have encircled the last strongholds of Hamas in Jabaliya and Shejaiya, the battalions that were considered invincible, that prepared for years to fight us, are on the verge of being dismantled,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told the press this morning.
While many Hamas fighters have surrendered, still others continue to resist. For those who perpetrated the October 7 attack against Israel, their troubles have only just begun.
“NUREMBERG 2: Israel to hold Nuremberg-style war crimes trials for Hamas terrorists behind the October 7 massacre,” warned Paul Sims for The Sun last week. “The number of Hamas jihadists seized on October 7 could be about 100.”
And while there have been rumors of a new hostage negotiation, there have also been confirmed reports of the deaths of two hostages.
“IDF retrieves bodies of two hostages from Gaza: Eden Zacharia and Ziv Dado,” reported the Times of Israel today.
“A Hamas spokesman suggested Sunday that the terror organization could kill all of the presumed 137 hostages in its custody if Israel does not accede to its demands,” reported Joel B. Pollak for Breitbart on December 10.
While Hamas may be getting that desperate, they are also still effectively using Israeli hostages as human shields. As the situation stands, desperately clinging to the hostages may be the only hope for the masterminds behind the October 7 attack.
What does the future hold for Israel? With the nation and its leaders committed to ending the threat of Hamas — once and for all — victory seems likely. Long term, Israel will recover, rebuild, and reemerge stronger and more determined than ever.
What does the future hold for Hamas? Sands in an hourglass, running out.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)