Deja vu all over again: Bibi gets cold feeta ground invasion of Gaza is not in the offing.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu assured US President Barack Obama on Friday that he does not plan to launch a ground operation in the Gaza Strip - unless Hamas escalates its rocket war, The Daily Beast reported Saturday, citing two US officials briefed on the call.
“The Israeli leadership at this point is leaning against a ground invasion. No one wants that. If Hamas ratchets up the pressure, however, they may elect to do so,” a senior US official told The Daily Beast.
A US intelligence official described the conversations between the two leaders on Gaza as markedly different than their discourse on Iran, in which Netanyahu has refused to give assurances that Israel would not unilaterally attack the Islamic Republic, according to the report.Of course, they could go the Dresden route as suggested by Shy Guy in response to another one of my posts, but I wouldn't bet on that.
Four days into the operation to repress the rocket fire long afflicting the South, Israel and Hamas have reached a crossroads. It is possible, at this stage, to scale back the conflict and reach a cease-fire, if Hamas ends its indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians, and if it has internalized the fact that the days in which it could freely terrorize southern Israel have passed.
With nearly 1,000 key Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets destroyed in waves of Israel Air Force strikes (made possible by painstaking intelligence efforts), Hamas has sustained considerable damage. It has lost its military commander, key operational figures and most of its strategic long-range missile caches, as well as a respectable portion of its medium-range rocket stockpile.
Hamas is sporadically firing on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, in part to hide the fact that its long-range threat has been largely destroyed, despite its access to a small number of remaining projectiles that can reach deep into Israel.
It is the South that is on the receiving end of most of the Hamas attacks.
The IDF fully expected Hamas to respond this way. The Iron Dome batteries have created an aerial blanket over Israel’s cities, sparing Israel many casualties and scenes of mayhem, and enabling the IDF to proceed according to its plan without sudden changes.
The IDF appears to be entering a stage in the campaign where it is responding to Hamas’s actions.
From now on, it seems, continued rocket salvos on our cities will be met with increasingly firm steps, while a cessation of rockets would likely lead to an end of the operation.I'd bet on Hamas making a lot of verbal noise, but scaling down the rocket fire in order to live to fight another day.
What could go wrong?