With the recent Houthi attacks on international shipping and the retaliatory bombing of military targets in Yemen by the US and UK, the conflict that commenced with Hamas’s 7 October attacks has broadened into a wider field of operations. The links between the Houthi, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran may at first glance seem opaque: these actors are all from different parts of the Middle East and some are Sunni, others Shi’a. Furthermore, even within the context of the century-old Arab–Zionist conflict, Hamas’s attacks were startlingly savage.
Any reasonable person could have foreseen the fierce Israeli response to the atrocities of 7 October and the likelihood that, as a result, Palestinian statehood would be delayed for another generation at least. Even Hamas’s former Minister of Communications, Yosef Almansi, has denounced the attacks, claiming that they set the organisation’s cause back 200 years and were “the opposite of the religion of Islam. It is heresy, madness… not accepted by logic, religion, or common sense.”
So, why did Hamas attack and what is holding together the alliance of their allies?
It is difficult to discern a rationale for the attack when we consider it entirely within the scope of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—especially given that terrorist groups…