Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Israel's Gaza win

Jackson Diehl points out that Israel has good reason to be pleased with the results of Operation Cast Lead.
But today, Operation Cast Lead, as the three-week operation is known in Israel, is generally regarded by the country's military and political elite as a success. The reasons for that are worth examining now that a new and even more hawkish Israeli government is weighing whether to flout Washington's prevailing opposition to a military attack on Iran.

Israel's satisfaction starts with a simple set of facts. Between April 2001 and the end of 2008, 4,246 rockets and 4,180 mortar shells were fired into Israel from Gaza, killing 14 Israelis, wounding more than 400 and making life in southern Israel intolerable. During what was supposed to be a cease-fire during the last half of 2008, 362 rockets and shells landed. Meanwhile, between late 2000 and the end of 2008, Israeli forces killed some 3,000 Gazans.

Since April there have been just over two dozen rocket and mortar strikes -- or less than on many single days before the war. No one has been seriously injured, and life in the Israeli town of Sderot and the area around it has returned almost to normal. Israeli attacks in Gaza have almost ceased, too: Since the end of the mini-war, 29 Palestinians, two of whom were civilians, have been killed by Israeli action.

Hamas, of course, remains in power and unmoved in its refusal to recognize Israel. It is still holding an Israeli soldier who was abducted in 2006. It is still smuggling material for weapons through tunnels under the Egyptian border and, if it chose to, could resume rocket attacks on Israel at any time.

The point, however, is that Israel has bought itself a stretch of relative peace with Hamas, just as its costly 2006 invasion of Lebanon has produced three years of quiet on that front. From the Israeli perspective, a respite from conflict is the most that can be expected from either group -- or from their mutual sponsor, Iran.
Diehl goes on to argue that as a result of the relative success of Operation Cast Lead, as well as the bombing of the Syrian reactor in 2007, both of which were opposed by the United States, Israel is less likely to be sympathetic to Washington's entreaties to hold off on attacking Iran. Given that this administration is less sympathetic to Israel than the one that was in power in 2007 and 2008, I believe it is even less likely that Israel will hold off an attack beyond the point where it believes an attack is necessary.

Read the whole thing.


At 8:32 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The main reason Gaza remains quiet is Hamas is trying to rebuild its capability from the last round and also Israel's ability to react quickly has made terror attacks an exercise in futility, This could change in the future but what Operation Cast Lead illustrated is terrorism can be contained only through the application of military force.


Post a Comment

<< Home