Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :
Hanna Saleh

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : What Victory Will There Be On ‘The Day After’

After the liberation of four hostages from the Nuseirat refugee camp gave him some breathing room, Netanyahu has gone back to making promises of total victory. Despite taking the lives of three hostages and the horrific massacre that killed 300 Palestinians, the operation to liberate the hostages has allowed Netanyahu to ignore the resignations of Gantz and Eizenkot. The two men left the war cabinet because there had been no vision for the "day after," which, according to Gantz, is preventing Israel from achieving victory.
More critically, Netanyahu has thwarted several attempts to conclude a ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal. He wants the war to continue until after the US elections for fear that ending the war would take him out of government and into the courtroom, where he would be held accountable.
Yahya Sinwar, whose actions make him a Netanyahu's partner, has refused to acquiesce to pressure, refusing to make the compromises needed for a ceasefire agreement and the exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners. Sinwar believes that the longer the war goes on, the more exposed Israel becomes internationally. He has a dangerously callous view of Gazans’ lives. Indeed, he has referred to civilian casualties as "necessary sacrifices" and claimed that their deaths "will breathe life into the nation's veins," according to messages he had sent and were published by the Wall Street Journal.
Mousa Abu Marzook had previously said that Hamas is responsible for its forces and cadres, while the United Nations is responsible for the lives of civilians. His assertion absolves Hamas of any responsibility for the deaths of 37,000 people, the 13,000 others remain missing under the rubble, and injuries sustained 90,000, most of whom might not make it.
Boasting about Hezbollah's military capabilities, Naim Qassem said that: "the arms the party has used so far in the battle to support Gaza and preemptively defend Lebanon is a small sample of what it possesses. There may be even greater surprises ahead." Sheikh Naim deliberately ignores the catastrophe that his party's unilateral declaration of a "harassment" war against the enemy has created in Lebanon. He overlooks the havoc wreaked upon the South and Lebanon, declaring from over the scorched earth that: "strategic shifts favorable to the Resistance Axis are underway, and the enemy will only discover the extent of the losses it has incurred after this war ends."
Netanyahu accepts nothing short of a decisive victory that sees the remaining military capabilities of Hamas crushed and culminates in the expulsion of Gazans, who are now living in the open after the Zionists’ savagery has rendered the Strip uninhabitable. Sinwar, this leader obsessed with the Battle of Karbala, is betting that prolonging the war will allow him to come out into the light and declare victory from over the rubble, becoming the leading figure of the Palestinian cause. In all of Hassan Nasrallah's speeches, he promises nothing less than "divine victory," and reassures the "opposition" within the sectarian-quote-based spoils-sharing regime that his party will not use the victory to impose its terms!
The region has seen the war on Gaza, along with the wars initiated by the Iranian regime through proxies that have accompanied it, rage for nine months now. There is no imminent end in sight, and following the devastating recent attacks, there are serious fears of the conflict expanding into Lebanon. President Biden's initiative, which is indispensable, is faltering due to resistance from both Israel and Hamas. The link established between the South and Gaza will only exacerbate the suffering. It shows that the decision Hezbollah has made on behalf of Tehran's mullahs, to drag Lebanon into a destructive war, had precipitated unforeseen repercussions.
It will be impossible for Hezbollah to avoid responsibility for the deaths of 600 people, including 400 Hezbollah members and field commanders. Meanwhile, 26 Israelis have died, among them 15 soldiers. Hezbollah will find it difficult to ignore the destruction of Southern towns and the security belt that Israel has imposed. Approximately 5 million square meters of green space that had been home to olive and fruit trees have burned to the ground. The soil’s contamination by Israel’s white phosphorus bombs has made an area that is over 100 kilometers long barren.
Boasting about attacks on the infrastructure of a few settlements and the fires that have broken out as a result of these attacks will not allow Hezbollah to avoid facing its "base" and all the residents of the South. Despite the iron curtain imposed on the region, they are asking, as they stand before the rubble of what had once been their homes, what the "harassment" of Israel and "support" of Gaza have achieved. The destruction is evident, and the savage war has moved to Rafah, the last Palestinian enclave in the Strip.
The scale and brutality of the Zionist enemy's ambitions are well known, but the real threat lies in granting it pretexts. At the same time, the camps opposed to this approach are in a worryingly similar situation in Palestine and Lebanon. In Palestine, the PLO, whose ideas and initiatives have ossified, has become sterile. In Lebanon, the "opposition" within the spoils-sharing regime is a partner that shares Hezbollah’s gains, profiteering at the expense of the suffering majority. It is not capable of waging the confrontation needed to change the situation we keep hearing complaints about.
While the future of Hamas remains uncertain, Hezbollah, which is responsible for the presidential and executive vacuum, is moving forward with the alternative project that Nasrallah laid out in 1992, under the auspices of the Islamic Republic of Iran led by the Supreme Leader!