“We are a few weeks away from the collapse of Hamas,” says a specialist

A truce seems to be looming. According to Frédéric Encel, doctor in geopolitics and lecturer at Sciences Po Paris, Hamas “has a knife to its throat”.


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Frédéric Encel, doctor in geopolitics, was the guest of the "8:30 a.m. franceinfo" from Monday December 4, 2023. (FRANCEINFO / RADIOFRANCE)

“We are a few weeks away from the collapse of Hamas”, assures Tuesday January 30 on franceinfo Frédéric Encel, doctor in geopolitics and lecturer at Sciences Po Paris. After discussions in Paris on Sunday between senior American, Israeli and Qatari officials, a truce appears to be looming. “Very important and productive work has been accomplished,” said Antony Blinken. Hamas calls for ceasefire “complete” prior to any agreement on the release of Israeli hostages. “It’s true that we’re getting closer”according to Frédéric Encel, but “there will be no ceasefire”, he says. According to him, Hamas “has the knife to his throat”. He has no choice but to demand an end to the fighting.

franceinfo: Should we understand that we are getting closer to an agreement today ?

Frédéric Encel: An agreement on a truce or on a humanitarian pause like there was, yes, it’s true that we are getting closer. Certainly not a ceasefire.

“There will be no ceasefire.”

Frédéric Encel, doctor in geopolitics

at franceinfo

Deep down the Americans, the Europeans, and the whole world first of all, want it. On several occasions, Mr. Blinken and Mr. Biden twisted Netanyahu’s arm to get this done. But the important thing is the ceasefire.

What should we understand behind Hamas’ request for a ceasefire?

You have to understand that he has the knife to his throat. Today, mechanically, even if the Israelis have taken very hard blows and even if, moreover, the war aims are still extremely vague, fundamentally, in a mechanical and military way, any analyst will tell you that Either way, Hamas cannot win. He suffered much harder blows than the Israelis. In other words, each day, each week that passes strengthens in one way or another the Israeli belligerent against the Hamas belligerents. Today, what Hamas is asking for is no longer just a humanitarian truce, as it was two and a half months ago, it is indeed a ceasefire, that is to say stopping the fighting.

Hamas, in its situation, still attaches importance to the release of prisoners in Israel?

For Hamas today, the important thing is to show the Palestinian population that it is capable of doing what the Palestinian Authority is incapable of doing, that is to say the liberation of Palestinian prisoners. We know how important it is for the population of Palestine to see prisoners return. But compared to two months, three months ago, what is even more important for Hamas is simply to survive. However, in my opinion, we are a few weeks away from the collapse of Hamas.

Qatar speaks of notable progress after a meeting Sunday in Paris between the director of the CIA, US intelligence and senior Egyptian, Israeli and Qatari officials. Was this meeting essential?

Yes. We find important countries. Qatar, of course, since it is irrigating everyone and in particular Hamas. Egypt which has no choice is the state contiguous to the south of the Gaza Strip. But also, France. The French like to sneer a lot when it comes to foreign affairs. But I keep repeating that basically, just behind the United States, absolutely essential in the Middle East, the country which has more levers in terms of political and military partnership in the region, it is really France .

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