The Next War in Gaza

[Ha'aretz] Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff - It looks now as if Israel is about to embark on a war in the Gaza Strip. According to a situation analysis by the commander of the Gaza Division, Brig.-Gen. Moshe Tamir, and the head of Southern Command, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, Hamas is planning to establish a new deterrent balance in Gaza, to stockpile large quantities of rockets that will enable it to initiate serious bombardment like Hizballah's attacks on the Galilee, to establish a defense network in every community, and to equip its people with anti-aircraft missiles smuggled in from Egypt. The army will approach the conflict in Gaza after learning two lessons from the war in Lebanon: the understanding that prolonged restraint is liable to end with a significant operational "success" on the other side (a kidnapping, or the penetration of an Israeli border community), and the desire to erase the memory of the failures in the north. Hamas' preparations for a military confrontation are not being aimed only at Israel, but also at the possibility of an escalation in the fighting against Fatah. The Hamas political leadership in Gaza is continuing to remove the Fatah security services from positions of power. The operational force established by Hamas has become the strongest and best-trained mechanism now operating in the area.

2006-10-20 01:00:00

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