Israel Is on Firmer Ground Against Hamas

[Financial Times-UK] Lawrence Freedman - The current operation in Gaza is a direct consequence of the 2006 war in southern Lebanon. As in 2006, Israel is responding to a cross-border provocation and is fighting in territories it once occupied but then abandoned in the hope of a quieter life. Hamas, long a follower of Hizbullah when it comes to strategy, believed that it too could mount a regular rocket barrage against Israel with impunity. Israel knows that if it fails again, it will have severely reduced any deterrent against future rocket attacks. So in addition to the immediate objectives, this war is about restoring deterrence - and especially the credibility of the IDF. Politically, Hamas has put itself into a position where a ceasefire will be seen as a defeat, because this will require accepting that it must stop firing rockets. The writer is professor of war studies at King's College London.

2009-12-05 06:00:00

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