It seems that the Israeli military was unprepared for the attack, which is why we have an unprecedented number of victims, said Jakub Katulski, an expert on Israeli-Palestinian relations, on TVN24. As he emphasized, “Hamas fighters have never before kidnapped Israeli civilians and soldiers on such a large scale as now.”
– Usually, when there is another escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, there is a certain period of drum beating, where both Hamas and the Palestinian jihad threaten to carry out an act of revenge – noted Jakub Katulski, an expert on Israeli-Palestinian relations, on TVN24 and host of the “Relatively Middle East” podcast. – In response, the Israeli side makes it clear that it is also ready to mobilize – he adds, emphasizing that “there was no such thing in this case.”
In his opinion, Israel was taken by surprise because “it seems that the military was unprepared for the attack, hence the unprecedented number of victims.” – When Hamas fighters entered Israel, they never kidnapped Israeli civilians and soldiers on such a scale, he emphasized.
In his opinion, “Israeli hostages were kidnapped by Hamas in order to exchange them for Palestinian prisoners.” – There are about five thousand Palestinian political prisoners in Israel, including about 1,200 in so-called administrative detention, i.e. without charges being brought against them – Katulski pointed out.
Hamas fighters and contacts with Russia
The expert was also asked who could have provided support to Hamas before this attack. – Hamas has, above all, good relations with the Lebanese Hezbollah, where it trains its fighters. They are also trained by the Iranian army, but also by other Islamist-militarist organizations. Hamas is learning from subsequent confrontations with Israel. They were made regularly, and Hamas, observing both the Israeli military, its own actions and that of other organizations in the Gaza Strip, learns from its mistakes. Using this experience, he developed an attack that the Israeli troops absolutely did not expect, said Jakub Katulski.
He pointed out that both Hamas and Israel maintain political relations with Russia. In his opinion, it is possible that Moscow could have “inspired this operation” indirectly, for example by financing Hamas to some extent. – The mere fact that Hamas politicians are meeting with Russian politicians does not mean that Russia is pulling the strings in this operation. However, it can be suspected that the reason (for Russia’s possible support for the Hamas attack – ed.) could have been the desire to divert the world’s attention from what is happening in Ukraine – Katulski pointed out.
Internal crisis in Israel
The expert also referred to the internal crisis in Israel and the question whether it could have contributed to the escalation of the conflict. – He could certainly appear as a weakness in the eyes of Hamas. Israeli reservists declared that they would refuse to serve in the army until the prime minister suspended the judicial reform in the country. This could have been an opportunity that Hamas wanted to take advantage of. The only question is whether he overbids his capabilities in this regard. Hamas certainly hoped that Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah would join the attack, added Jakub Katulski.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA – Atef Safadi