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War Is What Hamas and Iran Want

The latest Gaza war presents the United States and governments across the Middle East with an opportunity to end Hamas and Iran’s cynical project of creating chaos. But first, Israel must be stopped from expelling the Palestinians from Gaza, as that would radicalize and destabilize the entire region.

PRINCETON – Following the end of the recent weeklong ceasefire, Israel has resumed its war in Gaza, and dropped leaflets urging Palestinians to head toward the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. That has raised concerns that Israel is taking preliminary steps toward expelling Palestinians fully from the enclave, despite a stern American warning not to do so.

Whether it is intended or not, expulsion would have catastrophic consequences for regional security and stability. The United States and its Arab partners urgently need to step in to compel the Israeli leadership to halt the war and think more strategically. Perhaps the trauma of Hamas’s attack on October 7 has blinded Israeli leaders to the effects of their decisions. They should be reminded that Israel – along with the US and its other allies – have much to lose if the region descends into chaos and radicalization.

After all, an expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza would likely unravel the longstanding peace agreements between Israel and Egypt, and between Israel and Jordan. Those neighboring governments would be unable to withstand the public outcry and accusations of collusion with Israel. It would be the end of the US-led effort, launched by the late Henry Kissinger just after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, to create a Middle East security architecture and work toward regional peace.