HAMAS (a Palestinian radical Islamist movement recognized as a terrorist organization in the West) launched a war on Israel by launching over 2200 missiles into Israeli land in hours, resulting in losses among military and civilian populations.
Photo: Russian FM Lavrov with Hamas commanders in Moscow during their visit, with a special gift
HAMAS would struggle to keep control of any territory, and they would face harsh punishment. The scale of their assaults, such as mutilating Israeli women’s bodies and shooting Israeli toddlers on camera, demonstrates an unsettling level of savagery.
The Israeli response to these horrible acts will almost certainly be massive, leaving no attackers or direct commanders unharmed. This raises concerns about the incentives for the HAMAS offensive. Given that HAMAS has previously demonstrated an ability to mix violence with foreign support, the current brutality appears deliberate.
HAMAS was trained to destroy tanks with drone-dropped bombs
According to experts, Russia has been supporting HAMAS in using bomb-dropping drones against modern battle tanks, primarily targeting Israel.
Sergei Sumlenny, a German expert on Eastern Europe who grew up in Russia and worked in Ukraine as the director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, believes Russia is clearly behind the HAMAS attacks on Israel.
Mr Sumlenny believes that Russians are behind the training of Hamas fighters. “Russia is clearly behind this. No ally of HAMAS except Russia has experience using bomb-dropping drones against modern battle tanks,” he wrote on his X page.
Hamas militants destroyed one of the world’s most heavily armoured Merkava IV tanks during an attack on Israel. The tank was destroyed by a drone that dropped a shell from a drone. Afterwards, Hamas militants staged a photo shoot beside the blazing combat vehicle.
The Merkava IV was adopted into service about 20 years ago. In 2010, the Forecast International analytical agency named it the world’s best tank. In 2006, the vehicle received the Trophy Active Defence system.
Dropping explosives from drones against large, slow-moving targets is precisely something HAMAS would need foreign guidance for.
The technique of drone-dropping bombs to destroy tanks is widely used in the Russia-Ukraine war by both sides. Russians often boast that their soldiers destroy Western-supplied tanks with explosives launched from drones.
These claims imply that HAMAS got training and backing for such assaults from Russia. Furthermore, diplomatic trips by HAMAS leaders and Russian officials have stoked concerns about their possible partnership. Russia has the knowledge and expertise to deploy such drones in battle properly.
Massive missile strikes – a deja vu
Despite Israel’s sophisticated missile defence system and the Iron Dome, which is specialized in intercepting rockets and has a proven efficiency of 80-90%, Hamas was able to attack cities with missiles and hit critical infrastructure, such as the Rutenberg power plant, which accounts for 20% of the country’s generation.
The reason for this is its massiveness. Any anti-aircraft system can be overwhelmed by concentrating the attack. And this is precisely what Hamas did, launching, as it claims, 5,000 rockets. At the same time, the Israeli Army estimates are more than indicative – 2200 rockets fired. And even if 90% of the 2,200 rockets were intercepted, 220 still broke through the missile shield.
At the same time, such a massive launch is not only about the ability of the systems to intercept some of the targets but also about the availability of the missiles themselves, after which the launchers must be reloaded and become helpless.
Which country and army have experience planning massive missile strikes, overloading modern air defence systems, and turning off critical energy infrastructure? This is Russia and the Russian military. The Kremlin has been terrorizing Ukraine with massive missile strikes for almost 20 months. And in the fall of 2022, Russia’s missile strikes caused a blackout in Ukraine.
HAMAS commanders’ visit to Moscow
HAMAS commanders visited Moscow several times between 2022 and 2023, meeting with high-ranking Russian officials such as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
Discussions were made about a “new world order” to weaken the “Zionist tumour” and reshape the West. Another source of concern is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s anti-Semitic remarks. These remarks reflect the continuation of a long history of antisemitism in Russian politics.
Any escalation in the war benefits the Putin regime by distracting the West and diverting focus away from other geopolitical challenges, especially the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.
The West’s response impairs its capacity to develop a solid policy, forcing it to respond tactically to the increasing crisis. This dynamic ultimately serves the objectives of the Kremlin.