The October 7 Terrorist Attacks: The Regional Dimension

For much of the last decade the U.S. was trying to redefine its role in the Middle East, attempting to devote more of its resources to Europe (Russia) and Asia (China). For better or worse, this led to more regional independence since the 2010-2011 Arab Spring uprisings. It was also a decade characterized by civil war, sectarianism, and the war against the Islamic State. These developments led to the marginalization of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite several rounds of armed-conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Hamas's terrorist attacks on October 7 catapulted the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the top of the local, regional, and international agendas. The attacks targeted the United States’s effort to broker a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia that would include an upgraded U.S.-Saudi defense pact. Hamas feared the Palestinians would be further marginalized. Iran viewed these plans as a formula for a new American-led regional security architecture. This lecture will discuss how regional developments shaped the October 7 attacks and the subsequent war.

Brandon Friedman is the Director of Research and a Senior Research Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center (MDC) for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University.

Datum: 30.04.2024