Topic:

Gaza

The Two Major Strategic Turning Points of 2018

| December 25, 2018

Last summer’s events in the Gaza Strip cast serious doubt on the feasibility of a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, as the proximity of that area to Israel’s main population centers and economic/strategic assets ensures its transformation into the main combat zone should it undergo a militarization process similar to that experienced by Gaza and Lebanon. The question is whether the IDF has an effective response to the advent of parallel major threats on several fronts.

The Iranian Modus Operandi

| December 6, 2018

Time and again in recent decades, Iran has used its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to attempt to deprive Israel of calm borders with its neighbors. As this problem is likely to recur in the context of the Gaza Strip, it is essential – and by no means impossible – to root it out from that area.

Another Round, not More Extortion, Is Needed in Gaza

| November 27, 2018

Only a fourth massive round of fighting against Hamas can possibly bring the group to the conclusion the Arab states reached after four wars with the Jewish state in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 – that the pain to be suffered is so great, and the chance of eliminating the Jewish state so slim, as to render violence pointless.

The Israeli Security Concept: Wandering Through a Maze

| November 15, 2018

The recent round of fighting between Israel and Hamas was seemingly sparked by the exposure of an Israeli special forces team during a covert operation in Khan Yunis. The Hamas leadership, which apparently is not interested in war, nevertheless chose to respond by escalating to the very brink. Why has the Israeli government refrained (yet again) from instructing the IDF to settle the Hamas threat?

Israel Must Make a Decision on Gaza

| November 9, 2018

For over a decade, Israel has avoided deciding whether its interests are better served by maintaining the current “two Palestinian states” status quo, or by seeing Gaza rejoin the Palestinian Authority. The result is an untenable, chronic-crisis situation that empowers Mahmoud Abbas and is a lose-lose situation for Israel.

There Is No Political Solution for Gaza

| November 7, 2018

The claim that an agreement among the US administration, the Palestinian Authority, and the Egyptians to allow the PA to turn the financial screws on Hamas would culminate in the PA’s reassertion of control over the Gaza Strip could not be further from reality. In the Middle East, only armed force prevails.

Why Hamas Escalated – and Why It Is Winning the Present Round

| September 5, 2018

The accumulated deterrence achieved in the three previous rounds of wide-scale fighting between Israel and Hamas in 2008-9, 2012, and 2014 has come to a temporary halt. Israel must start preparing for a massive fourth round – a round in which Israel will, one hopes, replicate the cumulative deterrence it scored against the Arab States in 1973. This would mean subjecting Hamas to a threshold of pain sufficiently unbearable to induce it to stop fighting Israel altogether. 

Regional Players Maneuver to Reengineer the Israeli-Palestinian Landscape

| September 2, 2018

A possible ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, may be about more than ending the ongoing, escalating violence that threatens to spark yet another Gaza war. It could also be an attempt to pave the way for the return of Muhammad Dahlan as successor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas-Israel Truce Would Be “Painkiller, not Antibiotic”

| August 9, 2018

All the economic benefits being offered to Gaza as part of a package deal – an improvement in water and electricity supplies, the construction of a seaport, the cancellation of debts owed by the Hamas government, a relaxation of the Israeli security blockade – hinge on Hamas accepting conditions it is categorically unwilling to countenance.

The Absence of an Israeli Voice in Arabic

An Israeli voice in Arabic was entirely missing during the recent confrontations along the Gaza Strip-Israel border. The media spectrum visible to Palestinians is controlled by Aljazeera as well as Palestinian radio and TV propaganda and indoctrination broadcasts. The Israeli State Comptroller has severely criticized this shortcoming and urged the government to fill the gap, noting that Israel consistently fails to produce an Israeli official broadcast to targeted audiences in Arabic – not even during crises like Operation Cast Lead. Israel must correct this failing in order to deliver direct messages to Palestinian audiences, as well as to function as a psy-op tool.