Did the vacant speaker’s chair affect Hamas’ attack on Israel? Experts weigh in

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Experts weighed in with Fox News Digital on whether the empty speaker’s seat affected Hamas’ surprise terrorist attack on Israel.

The backdrop behind the race for the speaker’s gavel became more complex after the Palestinian terrorist group launched its war on America’s top ally in the Middle East.

However, experts tell Fox News Digital that the handless gavel after the historic ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., had no bearing on Hamas’ deadly surprise attack.

‘The speaker of the House of Representatives (or lack thereof) had nothing to do with the Iranian-backed attack on Israel over the weekend,’ the Heritage Foundation’s Victoria Coates told Fox News Digital on Monday.

‘This plot was coordinated over months and timed to disrupt a potential peace deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia,’ Coates said. ‘If we are looking for an element in the U.S. government to blame we need look no further than 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. ‘

‘For more than two years President Biden has not enforced sanctions on Iranian oil exports, earning Iran tens of billions from, primarily, Communist China,’ she said. ‘According to recent Wall Street Journal reporting, Iran funneled that money directly to Hamas and Hezbollah for this sort of attack.’

Coates added that ‘it seems unlikely the lack of a House speaker for a couple of days was in any way a factor.’

Brookings Institution senior foreign policy fellow Michael O’Hanlon told Fox News Digital he doesn’t believe the empty speaker’s chair had an impact on Hamas’ deadly attack.

‘No, I don’t think so,’ O’Hanlon said. ‘U.S. support was going to be predictably strong with or without.’

The experts’ comments come as House Republicans search for a new lower chamber top dog to replace McCarthy.

Hamas threatened to begin broadcasting the executions of Israeli hostages taken in Saturday’s attack against Israel.on Monday.

A spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades, a branch of Hamas, warned in an interview with Al-Jazeera that the group would begin killing one hostage for each Israeli airstrike that lands in Gaza without forewarning. He added that the executions would be recorded and broadcast to the public. Israel has carried out more than a thousand airstrikes in Gaza since the Hamas attack Saturday.

Israel has yet to respond to the ultimatum, but the Israeli Defense Forces have deployed tens of thousands of troops to the area around Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also warned that a ground invasion may be imminent, telling President Biden that ‘we have to go in.’

Israel has already cut off supplies of water, electricity and fuel to Gaza. So far, Israeli airstrikes have killed some 560 people, according to Hamas-run authorities.

Fox News Digital’s Anders Hagstrom contributed reporting.

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