Israel's Operation in Gaza

[Washington Institute for Near East Policy] David Makovsky - Israel made several tangible gains during the Gaza campaign. Israel has sharply degraded Hamas' ability to fire rockets at Israeli cities. Israel sustained far fewer fatalities and injuries than it did in the 2006 war with Hizbullah. Much of this decrease in casualties resulted from Hamas' inability to offer serious opposition on the ground - a fact that will make it difficult for the organization to credibly claim that it defended Gaza, let alone scored a victory. Another Israeli achievement is a fresh international focus on the tunnel network between the Egyptian Sinai and Gaza. The issue of border security has become increasingly important for Israel since one million Israelis are now within rocket range of Gaza. The Obama administration must follow up, work with allies, and make sure that verbal commitments to stop arms smuggling are transformed into reality. Failure by Egypt to act could lead Israel to occupy the southern edge of Gaza, where the tunnels are located. The moment seems right to consider an added mission for the U.S.-led Multinational Forces Organization (MFO) in the Sinai, created after the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. The MFO could be enlisted to halt weapons smuggling on the few roads traversing the Sinai.

2009-01-26 06:00:00

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