Mowing the Grass in Gaza to Degrade Enemy Capabilities

(BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Efraim Inbar and Eitan Shamir - Hamas left Israel's government no choice but to order the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to start a land incursion. Israel's goal continues to be the establishment of a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety without constant indiscriminate terror. Calls for reaching a "political solution" are totally unrealistic. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Salafist groups see Israel as a theological aberration, and despite reluctant acceptance of temporary cease-fires, reject any diplomatic course of action intended to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The fanatic commitment of these militias to a radical ideology and to a long-term strategy of violent resistance turn the situation into an intractable conflict. Nevertheless, employing military force is useful. Hamas needs to be punished for its aggressive behavior and reminded of the cost it must pay for continuing the violence against Israel. Important periods of quiet are attainable by military action, and this is what explains Israel's current offensive. Moreover, other actors in this Middle East neighborhood are watching, and they also need a clear reminder that aggression against Israel is costly. Inaction would be perceived as weakness, harming deterrence and inviting aggression. Prof. Efraim Inbar, director of the BESA Center, is professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University. Dr. Eitan Shamir is a research associate at the BESA Center.

2014-07-22 00:00:00

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