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Hamas operation debunked myth of Israel’s intel prowess, deterrence: Analyst

By Alireza Hashemi

The surprise military operation by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has again debunked the myth of the regime's intelligence prowess and deterrence, says an analyst.

In an interview with the Press TV website, Mahdi Shakibaei, a Tehran-based analyst on West Asia, said the Tel Aviv regime had since the six-day war of 1973, when its Western-backed war machinery defeated several Arab armies, boasted of its intensive infiltration and espionage capabilities. 

“This operation was a complete surprise. During the first 40 minutes, Israelis didn’t know they were being attacked and it was during this critical period that the most casualties were inflicted,” he said, referring to Saturday morning operation dubbed ‘Al-Aqsa Storm’ (also known as Al-Aqsa Flood).

“All of this happened right under their nose. It shattered the myth of the Israeli regime’s intelligence superiority and that they can detect threats from miles away.”

The Palestinian military operation has left more than 1,000 Israelis dead and over 2,800 others injured. Also, hundreds of Israelis are currently held as war prisoners across the besieged Gaza Strip.

Hamas said the operation was a natural response to the regime’s escalated attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, al-Quds, and rampant abuse of Palestinians languishing in Israeli prisons.

The regime carried out many raids against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank before this operation, killing nearly 250 Palestinians in what was described as the deadliest year for Palestine in decades.  

Shakibaei said the ‘Al-Aqsa Storm’ operation also shattered the myth that Israel has an extraordinarily high deterrent power and that there’s no chance anybody can stage a successful attack on it.  

“Israel for years pretended that it can respond to any attack with multiple attacks. They bragged about their deterrent power. But they couldn’t prevent this operation despite murdering so many Palestinians,” he told the Press TV website.

“Just weeks ago, they assassinated a number of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders. They couldn’t achieve deterrence. They got five thousand rockets in the early moments of the operation.”

The West Asian affairs analyst said from the 2006 war with the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah till now, not more than 300 Israelis have been killed, but now the number of dead proves that the regime’s claims were “more propaganda and bluff.”

Normalization with Israel no longer on table

Elaborating on the achievements of the latest operation, which he described a “brave choice” by a nation that had nothing to lose, Shakibaei said the operation shifted the world’s eyes back to the Palestinian cause, revitalized the Arab and Muslim support for the oppressed nation, and disrupted the so-called normalization process between some Arab states and the Israeli regime.

 “The operation caused the normalization issue to fade into oblivion. Saudi Arabia refused to join the normalization crowd during former US president Donald Trump’s tenure,” he remarked.

“But recently there were frequent contacts between Washington and Riyadh on the matter, and Israelis began to travel to Saudi Arabia under different pretexts, and even Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman openly said they’re getting closer to normalization. This was a big threat to Palestine.”

He said the tone of Saudis has now changed, adding that Bahrain, Morocco and others who opted for normalization with Israel “must now feel ashamed.”

“How can they justify Israel’s savage strikes against Palestinians? How can they befriend a regime who engages in mass bombardments of this poor nation,” he remarked.

Settler’s hope for security being dashed

Shakibaei said the operation shook the foundations of the illegitimate regime, which has been in a state of chaos recently, and put Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right cabinet in real danger. 

“Netanyahu’s ongoing crazy attacks on Gaza are out of desperation. If he launches more attacks, he will be hated and isolated more. And if not, his electoral promises would prove lies,” he noted.

“This extremist cabinet came to power pledging to destroy the Palestinian cause. It was always in a fragile state and there’ve long been talks of another election there.”

The West Asian affairs commentator said the illegal Israeli settlers had hoped this far-right cabinet could finally put an end to the long-running existential challenges the regime has been grappling with.

He said Netanyahu’s political rivals are blaming the right-wing cabinet for the Hamas operation, and some have proposed the creation of an emergency cabinet without ministers like Itamar Ben Gvir. 

‘But all of these leaders, including Benny Gantz, have been tested and none of them has managed to bring Israel security,” Shakibaei remarked.

Gaza has been devastated by four wars and countless attacks by the Israeli regime since Palestinians forced the occupying Israeli troops out of the region in 2007.

Netanyahu has now talked of a long war ahead, rushing forces to the south and calling up tens of thousands of reservists, leading some observers to predict a possible ground invasion of Gaza.

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