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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Good news and not-so-good news from Gaza

Just heard an Israel Radio interview with Israel Radio's own military correspondent, Carmela Menashe (who must be functioning on no sleep - she was on live most of the night) and IDF spokesman Avi Benayahu.

Menashe reports that the IDF forces have encountered less resistance from Hamas than they expected. Benayahu would not confirm that, but did not deny it either.

Menashe and the host pushed Benayahu on an 'exit strategy.' Benayahu said that was up to the political echelon and not to the army.

Benayahu said that the IDF is gaining control over 'some of the launching points' and Menashe asked him why not all of them. Benayahu responded that the goal is not to prevent Hamas from launching rockets but to take away its desire to launch rockets. Sorry, but I think that goal is unrealistic and shows a lack of understanding of what Hamas is about and what it stands for.

On the other hand, taking away their ability to launch rockets could only be accomplished by deposing Hamas entirely, and then we would have the additional problem of who is going to govern Gaza.

In any event, the IDF appears to be preparing for a not-so-brief stay in Gaza. Menashe reported that bulldozers have been cutting off the northern part of the Strip from the central and southern parts (something I mentioned earlier without knowing about the bulldozers - that sounds more permanent).

Then they interviewed their 'Palestinian affairs' correspondent who reported that Hamas is regularly putting out disinformation about killing or kidnapping IDF soldiers. To this point, neither side has admitted it if anyone was killed. I would trust the Israelis to be more honest. The IDF reports thirty wounded - two seriously (one commander and one soldier) and 28 lightly to moderately. Most of the wounded were apparently victims of one explosion. Hamas is reporting similar numbers, although even Al-Jazzeera reported on many Hamas killed last night.

One other point that came up in the interview: If anyone tells you they got an SMS from someone in Gaza, someone is telling a lie. The IDF took away all the cellphones before the soldiers went into Gaza. Hamas is able to eavesdrop on the cellphones, and the cellphones are now able to pick up Israel Radio reports that we may not want Hamas hearing (occasionally, more exact locations of Kassam hits have been given out on Israel Radio than what the IDF wishes to disclose - I have kept those locations from you three times in the last week). So another lesson of Lebanon (when Hezbullah was listening in to cell phone conversations) has been learned.


At 10:56 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I think the events on the battlefield and the logic of war will create its own reality. Israeli leaders would not like to stay in Gaza but the truth is no one else will take over it for Israel and the only way to keep Hamas disarmed is to have a permanent Israeli military presence in at least parts of it. That's how its going to be even though Israel would prefer not to and and the country cannot subcontract its national security out to others. So in a way Israel has come full circle since the Disengagement four years ago and the ground operation is the Israeli establishment's implicit admission it was a failure.

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Freedom Fighter said...

On the other hand, taking away their ability to launch rockets could only be accomplished by deposing Hamas entirely, and then we would have the additional problem of who is going to govern Gaza.

Easy problem to solve, Carl.

scroll down to the bottom of the link for the answer...

At 8:38 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Greetings :)

I forget where I heard or read this over the last couple of days, but it was stated that Israel's goal is to 'move' northern Gaza cities further south to provide a greater buffer zone in case Hamas does fire rockets once Israel leaves. I couldn't imagine what the hell that meant, and still have no clue. Can you confirm or deny this?

At 2:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

death to israel death to child killers..
la mort à israel,la mort aux tueurs des enfants
you'll be nothing israel so so neer,
are you know about your brothers:monkey and lot of
other animals

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


There was talk about that a few weeks ago, but given that we now know that Hamas has rockets with a 40km range (more than the width of the Gaza Strip), it's kind of meaningless unless we mean to push them into Egypt.


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