June 17, 2007
Israel Left With Few Options Other Than Plan Attack On HamastanTopics: Middle East News and Perspectives
Today's Times of London, quoting senior military sources, reports that Israel's new defense minister Ehud Barak is planning to attack Gaza with 20,000 troops to destroy much of Hamas's military capability in just days. Apparently, Barak has already demanded detailed plans to deploy two armored divisions and an infantry division, accompanied by assault drones and F-16 jets, against the Hamas.
... The raid would be triggered by Hamas rocket attacks against Israel or a resumption of suicide bombings.Captain Ed points out that the 20,000 to 12,000 ratio is a bit less than desired, and has some reservations about the Israelis' plan, as described:
... The Israeli forces would expect to be confronted by about 12,000 Hamas fighters with arms confiscated from the Fatah faction that they defeated in last week's three-day civil war in Gaza.
[...] Israeli officials believe their forces would face even tougher resistance in Gaza than they encountered during last summer's war against Hezbollah in south Lebanon.
A source close to Barak said that Israel could not tolerate an aggressive "Hamastan" on its border and an attack seemed unavoidable.
"The question is not if but how and when," he said.
[...] Normally an armed force would want a 2-1 advantage in troops before advancing against an entrenched enemy, but even that might be light for the kind of warfare Israel would likely face from Hamas -- hiding in civilian garb, using non-combatants as shields, and so on.However, we should expect that the Israelis will have learned to be less timid with Hamas in Gaza than they were with Hezbollah in Lebanon, and my guess is that the Israelis will aggressively and quickly take out the major military points of Hamas and seal off Gaza, as Ed notes, but at the same time or soon thereafter get to work at dismantling Hamas using every possible asset at hand, including intel from Palestinians in Gaza that don't buy-in to a Hamastan. As incredible as it may sound to many, there are Palestinians in Gaza that actually want peace and would prefer an Israeli occupation to one by Hamas and al-Qaeda.
The Israeli Air Force would have less effect in this fight than one might think. They can target Hamas assets out in the open, but most of those assets will remain hidden in cities. Unless the Israelis plan on carpet-bombing places like Gaza City and Rafah, the Air Force will remain mostly irrelevant.
... They would be better off taking out the major military points of Hamas and sealing off Gaza. Otherwise, the Israelis would not only have to roll across the entirety of Gaza, but they would also have to re-occupy it to keep Hamas from rising up again in the vacuum of their withdrawal.
As for where all this may be heading, Sher Zieve has a commentary today that offers an interesting perspective as she reminds us that "those of us inhabiting this planet have been drilled for decades that separate side-by-side Palestinian and Israeli states would bring a 'new level of understanding and tolerance' to the region. In other words, all Israel needed to do was give up some of their hard-fought-for lands to the Palestinians - a ludicrous concept that we know now to be disastrous for Israel and the West (links and emphasis mine). Earth to leftists everywhere - it hasn't worked:
[...] ... in August 2005 then Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon began the placation process of the Palestinian-state-demanders and started the forcible removal of Israeli colonists from twenty-one Israeli settlements. ... After taking control of the Gaza, the new Palestinian settlers immediately began the destruction of Jewish homes, businesses, greenhouses and farms. In other words, they destroyed and defiled their own new territories.At the very least, irrespective of theological references, I think we can all agree with Sher Zieve that we need to be prepared for "an escalating, violent and very bumpy ride."
... In less than a year after the Palestinians had been ceded the Gaza, their newly elected majority and terrorist Hamas-run government began missile attacks on Israel, Palestinian incursions into Israeli territory, killings of several Israeli soldiers and the kidnapping of Cpl. Gilad Shalit. This is, yet, another example of "appeasement never works." And, to date, Cpl. Shalit has not been returned and nothing has been reported of his fate. The Palestinians' actions were the cause of a brief but, intense two-front war between Israel and the Palestinians and Lebanon's Hezbollah. Both Hamas' and Hezbollah's attacks on Israel had, apparently, been coordinated by Iran. After this latest war ended, Hamas still vowed to destroy Israel and has continued to lob missiles over its border. Note: Palestinians, who have brought death, destruction, vandalism and utter chaos wherever they have wandered, do not make good neighbors for anyone--let alone their sworn nemesis Israel.
Despite the fact that the Palestinians have continued their missile volleys into Israel, although currently more subdued than those during the 2006 war, Israel has remained remarkably restrained. So, the Palestinians two terrorist parties-Hamas and Fatah--had no choice. Being a search-and-destroy people by nature, and having thus far been unable to goad the Israelis into a current new war, the Palestinians were forced to turn on each other. Last week, Islamist Palestinian Hamas, trained and run by Iran, turned on Palestinian Fatah to determine which of the two fanatical groups will rule the Gaza. Hamas seems to have won this latest conflict and has claimed--with the blessing of its Iranian "we will wipe Israel off the map" benefactor--the current rights of King of the Hill status. However, Hamas' true target is Israel. But, to be able to affect the appropriate and consistent missile strikes and incursions into Israeli territories, Hamas had to be in control of the land that borders Israel--the Gaza.
... as of Sunday, Katyusha rockets--the same type fired in 2006 by Hezbollah-in-Lebanon, have been and are continuing to be fired into Israel. It is reported that these latest missiles were fired by either Hezbollah or Hamas militants located in Lebanon. It appears that Iranian-financed Islamist Hezbollah and Hamas factions are bound and determined to revive their war against Israel. But, Hamas first had to get Palestinian Fatah out of its way. Besides, the Palestinian way is to destroy and, when no one else is available, it will turn on and attack itself. Note: From their many years of worldwide attacks and slaughters, this also appears to be the Muslim way against all non-Muslims and Muslims--alike--who do not ascribe to specific viewpoints. Terrorist Hamas hates its Fatah brothers. Guess they're not insane enough for Hamas' tastes. And it strongly looks as if the world is increasingly being run by madmen.
For those who have the ability to comprehend where all of this is leading, re-read the Bible's Zechariah 14. To be fair and balanced, also read the Quran's Surah 5:21 and Surah 17:104. This stopped a debate I was having with a Muslim scholar last year. As both of these passages acknowledge Israel as the true and legal residents of the disputed area, he did not appreciate my having quoted them. For those individuals--and all others--get prepared for an escalating, violent and very bumpy ride.
However, leaving with a promising note, we could see the West Bank getting Israeli support and carrots for the Palestinians in Gaza to reject Hamas, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday has sworn in a new government without Hamas and says he'll push hard for a restoration of foreign aid to the Palestinians. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Sunday that Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank could expect dramatic changes for the better under a new emergency administration, according to an aide.
Posted by Abdul at June 17, 2007 6:42 PM
Articles Related to Middle East News and Perspectives: