Israel vs Hamas: six months of war

Six months have passed since the attack on Israel by the radical Islamic organisation Hamas. The militias killed over 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages. Israel's attempt to defeat the terrorist organisation for good with an offensive in Gaza has so far failed: there are still around 130 hostages and Hamas is still fighting. Meanwhile, criticism of the high number of civilian deaths and the humanitarian disaster in the area is growing ever louder. The Israeli army has now partially withdrawn from the south of the Gaza Strip.

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Corriere del Ticino (CH) /

Goals not achieved

There are still too many unanswered questions, Corriere del Ticino points out:

“Starting with the complicity on which Hamas was able to rely in planning such a fatal infiltration of the Jewish state, or the delayed reaction of the security forces to the invasion of the Islamist terrorists. Prime Minister Netanyahu's appeal for national unity in the face of the Hamas henchmen's declaration of war was intended to prioritise a massive military response to the unscrupulous enemy and to postpone until after the war the investigation into the mistakes made by the secret service and army in their task of protecting the borders. After six months, however, the head of the Israeli executive has yet to achieve his goals.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Israeli government is finally giving in

Journalist Sami al-Ajrami sees signs for optimism in La Repubblica:

“The announcement of Israel's withdrawal from the south comes as a surprise and gives us hope, precisely because it makes no sense. Because now not only the inhabitants of the south can move freely, but also the notorious Hamas fighters whom Israel was looking for in the tunnels where they were hiding and for the sake of whom it razed our cities to the ground and destroyed our lives. How can it be explained that after months of bombardment and siege, Israel suddenly decided to lose control of Rafah and Khan Yunis? The only explanation is American pressure. ... And so the Israeli government is finally giving in, albeit reluctantly.”

El Mundo (ES) /

Europe and Nato need Israel

El Mundo hopes for a turnaround:

“Although public support for the war remains high among Israelis, in the last few days there have been major protests. This discontent has been compounded by the increasing distance of the US. ... Netanyahu's offensive is undermining the image of Israel, a country with a stable democracy, an advanced economy and a modern society. Europe and Nato need Israel as a partner in the face of the threat to Western and liberal values posed by Islamist terrorism. The resumed peace talks in Cairo could open the way to the only desirable solution: that the hostages can return home and hostilities cease in a conflict which simply cannot go on.”

Die Presse (AT) /

Do not allow Hamas to shirk responsibility

The Arab states must increase the pressure on the terrorist group, says Die Presse:

“All attention and criticism has long been focused on the way Israel is waging its war of retaliation in the Gaza Strip. ... Hamas has been strangely let off the hook like an mentally incompetent child. ... The terrorist group is refusing to release a single hostage until a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Israeli army have been agreed. It wants only one thing: to remain in power. An idea that has been intolerable for Israel since 7 October and should also be unacceptable to the civilised world. The Arab states, especially Qatar, should have long since started exerting pressure on Hamas to agree to a hostage deal.”

The Evening Standard (GB) /

Stopping arms sales would send an important signal

The British government should stop delivering arms to Israel, The Evening Standard argues:

“The UK arms sales to Israel are a blip in the great scheme of things, by comparison with the US billions, but it matters as a signal of moral indignation from a country friendly to Israel. It matters too as a way to make an important point, which is that the atrocities carried out by Hamas on October 7 are not a licence for Israel to do egregiously wrong things in response. ... The reason we are so distressed by Israeli actions is that we regard Israel essentially as a Western country. ... Britain is not just a friend of Israel - it's that more valuable thing, a critical friend.”

Sydsvenskan (SE) /

Hamas and Netanyahu must go

Against the backdrop of the recent protests against Netanyahu and the aid worker killings, Sydsvenskan sees only one path to peace:

“This is the difference between the two sides in the war: Hamas is an Iranian-funded terrorist organisation aimed at killing Jews. Israel is not only the only refuge for the world's Jews, but also the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. A country where people can influence politics. This comes with obligations and responsibilities. Especially when the country is at war and innocent people are dying. Hamas must go. Israel needs a new leadership. This is the only way forward, towards peace.”