Israel-Gaza War

Reports: Hamas declares "victory in Gaza" after IDF withdrawal

Israel caved into pressure from the Biden White House and Hamas was quick to take notice. Now, the ball is back in the IDF's court.

Yahya Sinwar at Hamas rally in 2021 (Photo: Atia Mohammed/Flash90 )

News sources reported that Hamas has declared victory in its war with Israel today (Monday) after the IDF withdrew its forces from the city of Khan Yunis and other areas in the Gaza Strip yesterday. Israel appears to have given in to American pressure, as Biden's administration had upped its demands, insisting that Netanyahu agree to an immediate ceasefire following the deaths of seven aid workers last Tuesday.

Hamas winning over world opinion

According to reports, an IDF drone mistook the workers for Hamas operatives, who were using human shields and hiding within the civilian population. It also appears that Hamas may have deliberately tricked the IDF into striking a vehicle occupied by the aid workers.

Biden's pressure, Iran, and November elections

Biden's pressure on Israel followed a US-backed UN vote separating a potential hostage deal from the demands of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. This has been one of Hamas's stipulations and appears to have been accepted by the US and world community.

According to reports, another factor behind the IDF's withdrawal was the looming conflict with Iran, who has been threatening Israel with a direct strike following last week's assassination in Damascus.

While Netanyahu has repeated his promise to take the southern city of Rafah, purportedly Hamas's last stronghold in the war, US threats to cut of Israel's weapons supply if it goes through with the move and the reliance on US aid in case of a wider conflict with the Islamic Regime, have slowed the IDF's progress in Gaza.

Israel may also have realized that so long as Biden remains in office, American policy will remain unchanged. It believes that worse things may be in store if the US isn't placated with promises of a Palestinian state - and that such promises are bound to place Israel in a greater bind.

The withdrawal may be a way of buying more time until a potential changing of the guards but more than anything, Israel appears to have overplayed its hand. Netanyahu has based his policy on American support since he first ran for office in 1996 and right now, progressive support is crucial to a Biden election win - more so than Israel's wellbeing.


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