The Regional Politics of the Hamas-Israel War

Brandon Friedman, director of research at MDC, published an article in "The Caravan Notebook" of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University on the regional politics of the Israel-Hamas war.

"Qatar’s diplomacy highlights the controversial role it plays as the host and financier of Hamas’s political leadership. Qatar has hosted Hamas’s top leadership since 2012, when it relocated from Damascus during the Syrian civil war. Qatar’s relationship with Hamas has allowed it to effectively mediate between Israel and the group. Qatar plays an important role as a hub for Hamas’s international financial network, which receives important assistance from Iran and includes nodes in Algeria and Turkey. Israeli officials believe that Qatar’s financial support for Hamas provides it with leverage to apply pressure on Hamas’s leadership, and not just to mediate between the two sides. While Qatar has courted the Western media and sought to highlight its mediation role in the hostage diplomacy, Egypt has played an equally important role, working in tandem with Doha, but remains out of the spotlight."

"Israel’s political leadership must continue to listen carefully to its current and future regional partners and use discreet and reliable back channels to consult with them on its future plans for a Hamas-free Gaza. Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, and Udi Evental, a retired colonel in the IDF, recently argued that Israel “should initiate a dialogue with Arab countries and international partners to formulate a plan for the future governance of Gaza.” They view “the most promising approach” to be the establishment of an interim administration led by the United States and Israel’s peace partners until the Palestinian Authority is ready to assume responsibility for Gaza."