Limor Simhony Philpott

Dr. Limor Simhony is a freelance writer. She was previously a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv.

Israel has to invade Rafah if it wants to destroy Hamas

When news broke that Israel planned to start an offensive in the city of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, it was faced with a barrage of warnings and condemnations, including from its allies. Foreign Secretary David Cameron urged Israel to ‘think seriously’ before it launched a large-scale operation in the city.

Israel cannot accept Hamas’s hostage deal

Following weeks of stagnation in the negotiations between Israel and Hamas over a deal for the release of Israeli hostages, Hamas has finally responded. Perhaps unsurprisingly though, the terms they have proposed are unacceptable to Israel. Hamas is demanding a long ceasefire, lasting four-and-a-half months, that would lead to a permanent truce. Their terms include

Israel suffers its deadliest day in Gaza

It’s only Tuesday, and already Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has had one of the worst weeks since the war against Hamas started last October. Israelis are losing patience with him and his band of self-serving extremist ministers. Netanyahu, whose approval rates were low before the war and have only got lower since it started,

America’s support for Israel has strings attached

On his fourth visit to Israel this week since its war with Hamas started, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a message of strong support for the country, but also some criticism. He arrived in Israel yesterday having already been to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, UAE, Turkey and Greece. Next on his agenda are

Why everyone is worried about Hezbollah

Hezbollah has escalated attacks against Israel in the last few days. The Iran-backed Lebanese militant organisation started firing missiles into Israel when the war against Hamas started last October. In the three months since, it has kept attacks limited in order to avoid an escalation into a full-scale war, but the situation is highly volatile.

Inside the Hamas split over its war with Israel

Hamas leaders based in Qatar have been holding talks with Palestinian officials from Fatah, the political organisation that dominates the Palestinian Authority (PA) which governs the West Bank. The once rival organisations are in discussions about forming an alliance for governing Gaza after the war with Israel. For the Palestinian Authority, this is an opportunity

Why Hamas isn’t willing to strike a deal with Israel

Hamas’s chairman, Ismail Haniyeh, is in Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials about a new temporary ceasefire deal with Israel. Haniyeh only reluctantly accepted Egypt’s invitation to attend talks. Hamas and its leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, have been consistent in their demand that they will not negotiate a deal with Israel while they are

How much longer can Netanyahu resist a hostage deal?

Thousands of protestors have taken to the streets of Tel Aviv following the killing of three young Israeli hostages by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in a friendly fire incident in Gaza. The demonstrators, who set up tents on Friday morning in front of the Kirya military base where the Israeli cabinet holds its meetings, are calling on the government to reach a deal with

The IDF’s death toll is rising

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have suffered their deadliest day since the 7 October massacre. Nine soldiers were killed, including the Golani Brigade’s 13th battalion commander, during a coordinated Hamas ambush in the Shujaiyeh neighbourhood of Gaza city. The attack was a rare success for Hamas, but despite the painful blow to the IDF, troops

How Hamas’s ceasefire gamble backfired

Hamas’s refusal to negotiate the return of the remaining women still in captivity and an early morning missile attack on Israel brought the ceasefire to an abrupt end on Friday. The Israeli government would have continued to put up with minor infractions by Hamas, and carried on with the deal, despite their repeated violations. However,

Hamas has made a mockery of the ceasefire deal

Early this morning, Hamas fired the first shot that signalled the end of its ceasefire deal with Israel, roughly an hour before the truce was due to expire. Before the ceasefire broke there had been a night of intense negotiations over the next stage of the hostage releases. Hamas, as it has done since negotiations

Can Israel’s ceasefire in Gaza hold?

Originally meant to expire on Monday, the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has been extended by at least two days. During the first four days of the ceasefire, 69 hostages abducted on 7 October, including 50 Israelis and 19 foreign nationals were freed by Hamas. In return, Israel freed 120 Palestinian prisoners, many incarcerated for

Why Hamas has agreed to a ceasefire deal

Following days of speculation, the Israeli cabinet last night approved a deal with Hamas for the release of 50 Israeli hostages – 30 children and 20 women. Currently there are some 236 people, including soldiers and civilians, held in Gaza. In exchange for the gradual release of hostages, Israel has agreed to four days of

What’s the truth about Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital?

Last week’s military operation in Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital was mired in controversy. According to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), the hospital was a significant target in Israel’s war against Hamas because they believed a command centre was located under the hospital complex. International spectators, including some of Israel’s closest allies, were concerned about the raid

How will Israel deal with the threat of Hezbollah?

From the very beginning, the war between Israel and Hamas has not been confined to just one front. The Iran-backed, Lebanon-based Islamist militant organisation Hezbollah started attacking Israel on 8 October – one day after Hamas’s deadly assault. In the weeks since, Iranian militias in Syria and Houthi rebels in Yemen have attacked Israel with