With Eye on Iran, Gaza Conflict Reassures Netanyahu

(Reuters) Crispian Balmer - Both on the diplomatic and military front, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will draw some comfort from his offensive against Gaza as he switches his gaze once more to his main strategic challenge - Iran. The Israeli military inflicted serious blows to Hamas' weapons arsenal, much of it sourced from Iran, and showed that it has cutting-edge technology for missile defense. Israel's new Iron Dome interceptors knocked out 421 incoming rockets from Gaza, scoring an 84% success rate. "The Iron Dome has proved itself to be a game changer...and has undoubtedly lessened the threat of Hizbullah," which is estimated to have up to 60,000 rockets pointing at Israel, said Yohanan Plesner, a member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "Almost 1,500 rockets have caused a relatively astounding level of low casualties." There is little doubt in Israel that Iran suffered a diplomatic setback this week. "It was very important for Iran to see a major rift between Israel and Egypt," said Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian expert. Israel managed to stave off a major split with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and opened a welcome window of dialogue. Moreover, the cease-fire brokered by Morsi made clear that Hamas is very much in the Egyptian camp.

2012-11-30 00:00:00

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