Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Did Israel Make Hamas Crawl?

How Israel made Hamas crawl - Yossi Melman

If the cease-fire holds, the results of the 50-day war in Gaza will mark an important and impressive achievement for Israel.

Hamas was forced to accept Egyptian and Israeli dictates.

Hamas crawled to the cease-fire
. One should not be impressed by the well-organized victory festivities in Gaza. Most of Hamas’s demands and preconditions were rejected from the outset.

The cease-fire is unlimited in time and Hamas was not promised anything except that which had been offered at the start of the military campaign.

Full of itself and arrogant, it miscalculated. If Hamas had not rejected the offers, Israel would not have launched a ground incursion. Hamas’s 32 attacking tunnels would not have been destroyed. Its rockets and mortar shells wouldn’t be reduced to a residual arsenal of 20 percent – from 10,000 to approximately 2,000.

And most importantly, parts of Gaza wouldn’t have been destroyed.

Surely people [in Gaza] will not go to protest in the streets. Hamas has established a reign of fear and terror. The massive public executions during the war, and in particular last week, of alleged traitors were not aimed at unveiling and disrupting Israeli intelligence operations, rather to send a clear message to the Gazans: We are Hamas and we are here to stay. Don’t dare revolt against us. But locals have a long memory. They will remember who brought them the calamity.

[Hamas] stood up for 50 days against the mighty Israeli war machine. They paralyzed Israel’s international airport for two days. Israel’s economy took a relative hit. They tried to infiltrate in commando operations from the sea and the tunnels. But in most cases they failed and achieved nothing significant.

The bottom line is that Hamas failed to reach its strategic goals. Israel showed determination and except some marginal manifestations, the Israeli home front was stubborn and did not break down.

The real index with which to check Israel’s gains is against the war’s declared aims. The leading trio – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz – who have shown reason and self restraint in order to avoid more casualties, were determined not to surrender to populist voices, including from their cabinet colleagues who pulled out long knives to stab them in the back and demanded to “smash Hamas.”
[Jerusalem Post]

Assessing the UN's "Gaza Crisis Atlas 2014" - Dan Smith

Last week, the UN published a 100-page "Gaza Crisis Atlas" showing the location of 12,000 points representing damage caused between July 9 and August 5.

Several patterns are discernible: The attacks are in no way "random" or "indiscriminate." 72% are within 3 km. of the border with Israel, the location of dozens of terror tunnels dug from Gaza into Israel.

The IDF has published a map of known terrorist infrastructure. By overlaying the IDF's map with the UN's damage points, the correlation is uncanny. It now becomes clear that the rest of Gaza was, for the most part, undamaged. Less than 5% of the land was affected.

Hamas Gave Us 50 Days to Destroy Its Capabilities
- Interview with Maj.-Gen. Yaakov Amidror

Former Israeli National Security Advisor Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror told Israel Channel 2 TV:

"Hamas, in its stupidity, gave us 50 days to destroy its capabilities, to strike its infrastructure, to destroy its network of attack tunnels, to reach a point where its ability to manufacture weapons is close to zero. The number of rockets it has left is very small, and to rebuild what it had will take a long time, if at all, because the government on the other side of the border, the Egyptian government, is not like the previous government....[Hamas] also has more than 1,000 dead."

"This does not mean that Hamas will not open fire in another month if it comes to the conclusion that it has received nothing so far. This is more or less a cease-fire agreement. It didn't receive anything, and it may be that it will understand that it received nothing and will open fire." 
(Israel Channel 2 TV-Hebrew)

Gaza Street Seething and Hamas in Disarray - Herb Keinon

  • The targeted killings and the intelligence information regarding the tunnels created a great deal of suspicion of people collaborating with Israel, and this often led to abandoning the use of advanced communication equipment, which made management of the fighting for Hamas' top brass even more difficult.
  • According to the assessments, the prevailing mood in the street is one of bitterness and anger toward Hamas, whose leaders were among the first to hide and left the civilians to fend for themselves.
  • (Jerusalem Post)

    Bibi, Guerrilla Warfare, and Public Opinion - Max Boot

    Netanyahu’s judgment clearly is that a ceasefire which restores the status quo ante bellum is the best Israel can do right now, and he is surely right. That is not satisfying for those who hunger for an idyllic version of war in which the bad guys surrender after being bombed for a few days, but it is line with the complex reality of irregular war as it has been waged over the centuries.


    LHwrites said...

    This seemed to go very badly for Hamas and Gaza and did give Israel and opportunity to degrade their capability. Hard to understand the polls showing Hamas is more popular in Gaza.

    Bruce said...

    It's hard to make sense of opinion polls conducted in authoritarian regions. But the findings are consistent with other polls there and elsewhere. Ideology seems to trump self interest. Hatred of the Jew and Israel seems to be woven into the fabric of the Palestinian persona.