". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Could the Israel-Hamas War ‘Escalate Dramatically’?

July 3, 2024

In the wake of a roughly nine-month long war, Israel continues to fight for its survival against the terrorist group Hamas. But as time marches on and the war moves through Rafah and to the north, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continue to fight against Hamas and other terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah. While Israeli officials have reported that they’re making progress in eliminating Hamas, they’ve also announced “that escaped Hamas terrorists remain a threat throughout the region,” as “Washington Watch” guest host Jody Hice explained on Tuesday’s episode.

“And according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Hice added, “the hunt for escaped Hamas terrorists remains a top priority to restore peace in Israel.” Yet, as these updates unfold, the Biden administration remains adamant in its push for their two-state solution, “a postwar plan,” Hice noted, “that includes Palestinians residing in Gaza under Arab leadership.”

As some have pointed out, these recent developments don’t necessarily provide a clear path forward or indicate whether an end is in sight. However, what CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell brought awareness to during Tuesday’s episode is that, as the war pivots north, Hezbollah could play a major role in what’s next concerning the Israel-Hamas war. “I think that’s … the main question on most people’s minds right now,” Mitchell stated. Namely, “[I]s there going to be a major escalation” if Hezbollah gets more involved? While it’s “been a low scale war,” he added, “there’s a concern it could escalate dramatically.”

Hice observed, “You would hope that Hezbollah, having witnessed what’s happened to Hamas, would think twice before they escalate all of this.” Mitchell agreed, adding that the Biden administration seems to only be making the circumstances more dire as they promote their two-state solution. He explained, “[T]he Biden administration may want a two-state solution — they’ve been advocating it for many, many months — but there’s really no appetite here in Israel for that.”

He continued, “Prime Minister Netanyahu is against that. And there’s many people … after October 7th” who have “a whole new way of looking at the Palestinian Authority and certainly Hamas.” When considering these variables, Mitchell remarked that “it’s unlikely that there’ll be … support here in [the] Israeli public for a two-state solution, despite what the Biden administration wants.”

“[O]bviously,” Hice added, “Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan after the war is on [an] absolute collision course … with the Biden administration.” Which, according to Hice, begs the question: “[W]here is all this going to lead?” Additionally, how could whatever is next impact “relations between Israel and the United States?” As Mitchell put it, depending on how the war pans out, there are two primary obstacles between Israel and America: The Biden administration’s two-state solution and the administration holding back weapons.

As Mitchell recalled, “[J]ust the other day, representative [Michael] McCaul from Texas said that there’s seven weapon systems that the Biden administration is holding back from Israel. So, that’s another big concern.” But really, he insisted, the two-state solution is “one of the main disagreements between the coalition with Netanyahu and the Biden administration.” The reason for this is because “the Palestinian Authority is what the Biden administration has been calling for, in part, that they would be one of the people overseeing Gaza after the war.” However, Mitchell emphasized, “The Palestinian Authority, if you look at their statements in public,” is often seen as “just one step below Hamas.”

Just like Hamas, “They consider this a religious war. They talk frequently about replacing Israel [and] about returning to places like Haifa and Tel Aviv,” Mitchell said. “So, in terms of the Palestinian Authority, there would be very little appetite for that” in Israel. “And yet, this is one of the avenues that the Biden administration is calling for.” But “the big question,” as Mitchell stated, “is … what’s going to happen the day after the war in Gaza is over.”

On that note, Hice asked how the potential of a new U.S. presidential administration relates to these circumstances and inquiries. “Well,” Mitchell answered, “I think a lot of Israelis, like a lot of Americans, were dismayed by the performance by President Joe Biden. … [Many] see him as a weakened leader.” And “any time you project weakness, it [leaves] a vacuum.”

Mitchell concluded, “I think in terms of an Israeli point of view … in the Middle East … surrounded by its enemies, they want an American president that’s going to project strength [and] resolve.” Because ultimately, “from an Israeli point of view, they see a weakened president in his … many actions against the Jewish state as something that’s very, very concerning to them.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.