Not too smart

Washington Post:
Hamas’s latest battle against Israel sparked feverish Palestinian pride that spread beyond the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian ­Authority-led West Bank. But it has also deepened a sense here that the authority’s nonviolent, diplomacy-based approach to winning a Palestinian state is increasingly futile.

It is a commonly held view in both territories that the Islamist militants of Hamas — who refuse to recognize Israel — defeated their enemy, and that they did it with weapons, not words.

“They put Israel in its place. They forced Israel to withdraw,” Amanda Izzat, a 23-year-old university student who was shopping in Ramallah on Saturday, said of Hamas.

Many Palestinians insist the eight-day hostilities will energize the long-frozen pledges of reconciliation between Hamas and its rival Fatah, which leads the authority. But the conflict also underscored how starkly opposed the two factions’ strategies are. In a region where Arab Spring uprisings pushed political Islam to the forefront, some analysts say Fatah’s secular nationalism looks more anachronistic by the day, and Hamas’s sudden strength has raised momentum for more aggressive, even radical, posture in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Fatah member, dismissed Islamism as a fad. But she said she is increasingly worried that Palestinians will see armed resistance, which Fatah renounced in 1988, as the only mechanism that appears to win concessions from Israel.

“It would be easy to get the world’s attention by unleashing violence,” Ashrawi said. “But that’s not a tool we want to use. There’s so much tragic loss of life.”
No person who understands warfare would come to the conclusions that Hamas won anything other than a butt kicking.  Their strategy involved the war crime of indiscriminate firing of missiles toward non combatants in Israel, while using their own people as human shields for firing positions.

They lost their top military commander and their top artillery commander as well as several other casualties and infrastructure losses.  They expended their inventory of rockets on either wasteland or in the case of those that threatened to hit people the rockets were destroyed by the Iron Dome system.

They accomplished nothing militarily or diplomatically.  If they were winning they would not have stopped firing rockets.  Since Israel's only objective was to get them to stop, it achieved that at minimal cost.

Israel National News reports the operations accomplishments:
The recent Pillar of Defense counter terror offensive against the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza was a win for Israel in numerous ways. Launched with the assassination of the key figure in the Izz a-Din al Qassam military wing of Hamas, Ahmed Jaabari, the eight-day operation was conducted primarily from the air.

Hamas terrorists said they fired 1,573 rockets and missiles at Israel, while the IDF struck more than 1,500 terrorist targets in Gaza.

Those included 19 terrorist command centers, operational control centers and Hamas senior-rank headquarters, 26 weapons manufacturing and storage facilities, and hundreds of underground rocket launchers. In addition, 30 senior operatives were eliminated, as were 140 smuggling tunnels, 66 terror tunnels and dozens of Hamas operations rooms and bases. Of the 177 people that were killed, 120 were known terrorists, according to the IDF.

But an equally important aspect of the operation was the additional information it revealed.

For the first time, Iran openly boasted – and in fact, confirmed – that it had supplied “both financial and military” assistance to Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards chief Mohammad Ali Jaafari said Tehran had shared the technology for the Fajr-5 missiles – meaning that they could be “rapidly produced” on site in Gaza.

In addition, it became known that 200mm diameter “M75” missiles, with a range of up to 80 kilometers (about 50 miles) were being manufactured locally in Gaza -- also using technology provided by Iran.
That does not sound like a Hamas win.


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