Israëls schaduw-oorlogen infographic
Graphic shows timeline of Israeli conflicts.
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CONFLICT

Shaduw-oorlogen in het Midden-Oosten

By Duncan Mil

October 10, 2023 - The auda­cious assault on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas has renewed the world’s focus on a shadow war between Iran and Israel that’s shaped the Middle East for decades.

The shadow war “aims to anni­hil­ate and wipe out Israel from exist­ence,” said Abdul Majeed Awad, head of Hamas’s political and media relations office in Lebanon.

Iran attacks Israel from the north via Hezbol­lah in Lebanon and from the north-east from Ira­nian and Hezbol­lah fight­ers along the Syr­ian bor­der. Between 2019 and 2021, the Israel-Iran conflict moved to sea with attacks on as many as 20 ships carrying Iranian oil or weapons in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and the Medi­ter­ranean.

Tehran has been working to strengthen ties with Palestinian mil­it­ant groups, por­tray­ing itself as the cham­pion of the Palestinian cause as Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, have moved to nor­m­al­ise rela­tions with Israel.

Shia Iran already has a proxy in Gaza in Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ], a smal­ler mil­it­ant group that some­times rivals Hamas and some­times fights alongside it.

Israel has estim­ated that the PIJ and Hamas receive $100 million a year from Iran.

Iran’s goal in build­ing up groups such as Hamas and PIJ in Gaza, Hezbol­lah in Lebanon and vari­ous Shia mili­tias in Syria is to “des­troy the State of Israel… we have to ask ourselves if the war Hamas has star­ted is the begin­ning of a multi-front assault,” said Avi Melamed, a former Israeli intel­li­gence offi­cial.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 10/10/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images
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