The Israel-Hamas war: what escalation looks like

Experts discuss where the war might go from here.

Research event, Panel Recording
23 October 2023 — 3:00PM TO 4:00PM

Event video

The thumbnail image shows Israeli soldiers waiting for a meeting with Israeli Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant on the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip on October 19, 2023 (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Hamas’s attack on Israel shocked the world. Israeli intelligence failed to predict an assault that took hundreds of lives and resulted in the capture of many hostages. Israel has responded with a full blockade of the Gaza Strip and heavy bombardment of the enclave resulting in hundreds of Palestinian casualties.

The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and President Mahmoud Abbas have so far been unable to play a significant role in calming tensions or garnering support from regional states and the international community. The conflict is likely to escalate and a ground assault into Gaza is possible. While Israel’s military is much larger and more sophisticated, Hamas has developed its capacity and would be fighting in their own streets.

This event discusses what escalation and a potential ground offensive in Gaza could look like, and what it will mean for the region. Experts offer analysis of possible scenarios and examine:

  • What would Israel and Hamas’ goals be in escalating the conflict?
  • What might be the unintended consequences?
  • Will the conflict widen and how will countries in the region respond?
  • What’s at stake for Hezbollah, Iran, and the region?
  • How will the international community respond to escalation?

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