Updated in comments, Nov 4th. First published Oct 10.
The whole setup looks beyond dubious.
1. Hamas are a bunch of terrorists who will commit any atrocity to gain any advantage, no matter how small. Their definition of “advantage” comes from their own weird terrorist dictionary.
2. Iran’s Shia co-religionists are Hezbollah, but recently they’ve become closer allies with Hamas. Iran’s mortal enemies in the Middle East are the Saudis. Recently, agreements were being brokered between Israel and the Saudis. Guaranteed, two extremely well-armed enemies becoming allies was giving Iranians the vapours. Blinken says the US has seen no evidence yet that Iran pushed Hamas into starting this war. The idea being to make normal relations with Israel impossible for the Saudis. Iranian involvement is not generally accepted. But the effect of the attack and the timing is terribly convenient.
3. And then there’s Bibi. The guy who responds to pathetic pipe rockets by flattening whole city blocks. The guy whose strategy with the Palestinians seems to be to bomb them back into the Stone Age every few years so that they can never get far enough up on their feet to be a factor within Israel.
He was told by his military months ago that his extrajudicial power grabs were going to make an attack against Israel likely. The response from his inner circle was, to say it politely, We Don’t Care. (This was on the BBC? Haaretz? web site, “Fuck you” they supposedly said, and has since disappeared. Was it untrue? Maybe. It does fit with his past behavior of waiting for any provocation — which Hamas was only too glad to provide — to respond with overwhelming force.)
I may not think much of Netanyahu, but I doubt he’s the kind of psychopath who purposely set up death and kidnapping for Israelis so he’d have an excuse to finish off Hamas. But I can very easily see him thinking that if his power grabs do cause an attack, then that’s a feature, not a bug. Bring it on, I can see him thinking, and we’ll flatten you.
So here we are, waiting for Bibi to finish off thousands of people or to start WWIII and start the destruction of millions more.