Israel believed that tempting Hamas to improve the financial situation in Gaza would dissuade it from its ideology about the Israeli presence, however misjudged.
According to an article at the National Interest, Israel thought that Hamas would need to prove itself politically by improving the living conditions of Gaza residents.
Economic temptations will soften its belief that Israel is an illegitimate entity and must be eliminated, however, the idea of improving Hamas’s economic situation didn’t change its ideological enthusiasm.
Whether this misconception was built due to Hamas’ strategic deception or wishful thinking on the Israeli side, it proved to be a failure on October 7.
Hamas agreed in 2019 to stop violent demonstrations on the border, and to stop launching incendiary balloons to burn Israeli territory, under the UN-Egypt agreement.
It did so in exchange for $30 million a month in Qatari funding in Gaza.
Although this agreement lasted for a few years, it ended with the October 7 attack.
Israel failed to appreciate the priority of Hamas’s ideological thought, despite the enormous economic needs of the people of Gaza.
There were several indicators that Israel didn’t give sufficient attention to.
When Yahya al Sinwar met with Gaza students in 2017, he said, “Hamas won’t be disarmed until Satan enters the heaven”.
He also said, “The discussion isn’t about recognizing Israel, but about erasing it from existence”.
Salah al Arouri, Sinwar’s deputy, incited attacks against Israel in Jenin and other cities in the West Bank.
There is another indicator; Hamas rejected negotiations that would have seen the construction of a Gaza port in exchange for disarmament.
When Hamas was given a choice between stability or abandoning its ideological doctrine, it launched Operation in May 2020.
It also used all the funding to improve its military structure, from building tunnels and producing rockets, instead of using it to improve the infrastructure and economic situation of the people of Gaza.
As Israel faces the consequences of its miscalculations regarding Hamas’ ideology, it’s determined to undermine Hamas’s dedication to its ideology once again.