Friday, July 25, 2014

Gaza War Likely To Intensify

The Gaza War: When Strategies Collide - Walter Russell Mead

Israel continues to fight because it believes that with more time, it can destroy enough tunnels and inflict enough damage on Hamas to significantly degrade the organization's military strength and weaken it politically. Furthermore, both Saudi Arabia and Egypt are, perhaps for the first time, quietly rooting for Israel to crush the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Hamas.

Hamas, on the other hand, is elated by its success in temporarily hampering operations at Ben-Gurion Airport. In addition, its fighters have had unexpected success killing Israeli soldiers on the ground...

For Israel, as a small country surrounded by enemies and facing hostile public opinion in the world at large, its security depends in large part on its reputation for military supremacy. That reputation is an advantage that Israel will not lightly give up; hostilities are unlikely to end until and unless the Israelis feel they have made their point.
The attack on Ben-Gurion Airport, Israel's vital link with the rest of the world, is a military game-changer. Israeli defense officials likely feel that they must now eliminate the capacity of Hamas to repeat this attack, and make the consequences so wounding and expensive to Hamas as to reduce the attractiveness of repeat efforts.
(American Interest)

Hamas Is Not About to Fold - Avi Issacharoff

Hamas is adamant that it will continue to fight until Egypt and Israel accept its demands. Hamas has not been sufficiently damaged and does not feel its future is existentially threatened, and therefore is not seeking compromise, much less surrender. Its military and political command echelons are unharmed, its gunmen are killing IDF soldiers, and its rocket capabilities have been slightly weakened but not destroyed.
(Times of Israel)

"There Is a Moment When a Nation Must Protect Itself, and that Moment Is Now"
- Daniel K. Eisenbud

"It's a war about our survival," said retired IDF brigadier general and Yom Kippur War hero Avigdor Kahalani, as he discussed why the IDF must ignore international pressure and stay in Gaza until Hamas is "demilitarized."

"Can you imagine Russia or the U.S. accepting missiles launched into their countries and not reacting?," he asked. "There is a moment when a nation must protect itself, and that moment is now."

"We're living in a jungle, and only the strong survive. If you are weak, they will eat you." "They need to understand that we can't and won't move from here. We don't have a spare country." 
(Jerusalem Post)

Hizbullah's Plan for Underground War - Lee Smith 

Shimon Shapira, a Hizbullah expert and senior research associate at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:

"Hassan Nasrallah says Hizbullah has a two-part operational plan," says Shapira. "One is rocket fire on Tel Aviv and two is conquest of the Galilee. I wondered what he meant by that?"

"How is Hizbullah going to invade the Galilee, take hostages, capture villages, and overrun military installations? But we're learning from what is happening now [in Gaza]. Nasrallah means Hizbullah is going to penetrate Israel through tunnels."      
(Weekly Standard)

Egypt Destroys Rockets Smuggled from Gaza    

Egyptian troops in the North Sinai town of Rafah destroyed a vehicle laden with Grad rockets being smuggled from Gaza through a tunnel, a security source in the army told Aswat Masriya. Militants were planning to use the weaponry [in the Sinai] to fire at Israel.
Egypt's government accuses Hamas of aiding Islamist militants in Egypt.

Egypt Kills Suicide Bomber Approaching Israeli Border      

Egyptian troops killed a suicide bomber who tried to approach the Israeli border near Kerem Shalom. The bomber carried an explosive device in addition to an explosive belt on his body. He was shot dead while running towards the border with Israel.    
(Ma'an News-PA)

Egypt Taking Hard Line over Border - Lee Keath and Maggie Michael

Hamas is demanding Egypt open its border with Gaza, but Egypt is taking a hard line, refusing any opening that would strengthen Hamas. The vilification of Hamas in Egypt has only increased since the Gaza war erupted. Egyptian TV stations and newspapers have issued a stream of commentary that sounds a lot like what is coming out of Israel: Hamas is to blame for the fighting and is exploiting Palestinian civilian deaths for its own gain.

"The whole issue here is that Hamas wants to be recognized as the legitimate ruler of the Gaza Strip," said Samir Ghattas, head of the Maqdis Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo. "Egypt will not agree on this and will not permit the establishment of a Brotherhood state on its eastern borders." 
(AP-ABC News)

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