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Israeli warplanes pound Gaza. A ground invasion is expected. Does Hamas have an endgame?

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Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on Wednesday.

CBC, October 2023

As war planes from Israel continue to pound Gaza — and with a massive ground offensive of Israeli troops expected any day — the rationale behind the massacre unleashed by Hamas on the weekend that prompted Israel’s severe retaliation may certainly seem unclear. Hamas’s attacks, which have killed more than 1,200 Israelis, prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to issue an official declaration of war that has resulted in the deaths of at least 1,100 people in Gaza and an estimated 250,000 people left homeless.

The militant group’s ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel and to establish an Islamist state over the entire country. Despite the devastating attack, observers say Hamas is no closer to that outcome. So what, then, was its endgame? The ongoing negotiations between the United States and Saudi Arabia to normalize Saudi relations with Israel in exchange for a U.S. defense pact may have suffered a significant blow with these attacks.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement that the kingdom had been warning of an “explosive situation as a result of the continued occupation and deprivation of the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights.”

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