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Israel-Hamas war gets personal for Iran

Targeted killings in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria cause Iran to rethink escalatory options. 
Iranian mourners gather around coffins wrapped with the Iranian flags during the funeral ceremony of yesterday's explosion on Jan. 5, 2024, in Kerman, Iran.

Iran must be thinking twice about its next moves

The Israel-Hamas war is getting more dangerous for Iran. 

Let’s start with the fact that Iran has lost Hamas as the ruling power in Gaza. Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is off the board as well. These were major players in the "axis of resistance," and now they’re gone — a net loss. Whatever governing entity and occupying forces enter post-conflict Gaza, they won’t be Hamas or PIJ, even if somehow, some way, at some point some of the Hamas outliers make their way into a revamped, reformed Palestine Liberation Organization, as has been suggested by current and former Palestinian leaders. However talks on the future of Gaza and a Palestinian state proceed, at least in the short term, Iran will be on the outside looking in. 

Some might say that the outlook’s not so grim for Tehran. Iran plays the long game, and the politics of resistance and desperation, in which Hamas and PIJ thrive, have been given new life by Israel’s military operations, which have so far killed over 22,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, while leveling Gaza. Resistance in Gaza and the West Bank won’t be going away in the years ahead, given a new and historic wave of bad blood on both sides. As we wrote here back in November, a new generation of Arabs, Muslims and others worldwide, including in the West, have found solidarity in the Palestinian cause. 

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