Specter of Iran Looms Over Gaza Crisis -Gerald F. Seib
Looming over the crisis in Gaza is another significant power: Iran.
Iran, most analysts believe, provided the longer-range rockets that have given Hamas, for the first time, the ability to reach at least the outskirts of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Israeli officials don't rule out the possibility that Iran's leaders may have helped prompt Hamas to step up its firing of rockets into Israel in recent weeks as a way to distract and tie down Israeli forces on the country's western border to reduce the chances Israel would direct its military attention eastward, toward Iran's nuclear facilities.
(Wall Street Journal)
Hamas Can Replenish Arsenal - If Egypt Lets It -Ulrike Putz
As long as fresh supplies of rockets keep coming through Egypt, the power of Hamas will be unbroken.
There is no doubt that the military capabilities of Hamas have been severely curtailed. But the attacks haven't broken the organization's power.
As long as the supply route Iran-Sudan-Egypt remains intact, the Islamists' arsenals will soon be replenished.
Ceasefire in Israel-Hamas War -Barry Rubin, PhD
Apparently, Hamas did not consult with Egypt before escalating attacks against Israel, the factor that set off large-scale Israeli retaliation. In turn, Egypt, along with Qatar, the Hamas regime's main Arab funder, pressured the regime to stop the fighting.
While people can come up with ideal solutions in their heads the problem is that Israel does not want to return to rule the Gaza Strip (which would involve armed battles almost daily) and does not have international support for overthrowing Hamas.
In a reasonable world, the international community would support, even join, in bringing down the current regime and replacing it with the Palestinian Authority. Instead, however, the international community is determined to protect the survival of the Hamas regime and the Palestinian Authority would not take back rule over the Gaza Strip, either by its own efforts to overthrow Hamas or at the hands of a victorious Israeli army.
Of course, everyone knows that this ceasefire won't last.
[The Rubin Report]
An Initial Accounting of the Gaza Operation -Dan Margalit
Hamas has taken a body blow. Senior operatives have been killed, rocket arsenals have been pulverized, terrorist infrastructure has been destroyed, and the Iron Dome has been largely successful in protecting the Israeli home front.
For the first time in many years, Israel has struck a heavy blow against terrorists in Gaza without losing the support of the world's enlightened nations. Those who remember the criticism after Israel's Gaza operation in 2009 understand the significance of this achievement.
Israeli Attacks Serve as a Warning to Iran -Nicole Gaouette
Israel is fighting a "war within a war," said David Wurmser, a former Middle East adviser to then-vice president Dick Cheney.
Israel is simultaneously tackling Hamas rocket fire, demonstrating the effectiveness of the new "Iron Dome" missile defense system, and degrading the Islamist group's ability to retaliate for an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.
PA Wanted Hamas Defeated -Barak Ravid
A Palestinian ambassador told an Israeli ambassador earlier this week that if Israel expanded the operation in Gaza, it must work to overthrow Hamas, instead of stopping in the middle, as it did in 2009.
The Palestinian official was quoted as saying: "The Hamas offices that were destroyed are not important. The real offices are the mosques, which are connected to a widespread network of tunnels. Everything happens underground."
U.S. to Intensify Efforts to Halt Weapons Smuggling
"The president said that the U.S. would use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza.
Who Won This Round? -Amos Harel & Avi Issacharoff
In Gaza, they began preparing the victory rallies. But the celebrations will not hide the serious blow Hamas suffered in the military arena by the killing of Ahmed Jabari, the destruction of its long-range Fajr missiles and the attacks on its commanders and camps.
Israel's Gaza Operation Achieved Its Goals -Aluf Benn
Netanyahu showed it was possible to bomb Gaza and kill Hamas' chief of staff without harming the peace with Cairo. In the new strategic environment generated by the "Arab Spring," this is no mean feat.
Israel Dominates the New Middle East -Fareed Zakaria
We were warned that the battle between Israel and the Palestinians might spread because we are in a new and much more dangerous Middle East where Islamists are in power. In fact, there is a very low likelihood of a broader regional conflict. It's true that we're in a new Middle East, but it's one in which Israel has become the region's superpower.
This is why Egypt, despite being under a new Islamist government, is not going to risk war with Israel. Nor are the other Arab states. They will make fiery speeches and offer humanitarian assistance. But they will not fight alongside the Palestinians in Gaza.