A couple points worth noting:
1) Whats going on is bad and sad. But let’s be clear- Hamas wanted a fight with Israel and this is consistent with their fundamental approach to dealing with their enemy. It is not through negotiations. Long before the ceasefire expired, Hamas leaders were clearly saying they opposed any renewal, and wanted to go the Resistance path, not the path of negotiations (which would benefit Fatah). However, they probably didn’t expect this extent, which leads me to my next point……..
2) Back in July, when Israel turned over Samir Quntar for the bodies of two dead IDF soldiers, the overwhelming consensus in the Arabic press, based more on sentiment and not deep strategic or military analysis, was that this was a huge unprecedented victory for the Resistance. I thought this was an inaccurate assessment based on a major misreading of the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah and cautioned ” be_careful_what_you_wish_for. Israel did not perform well in 06 but that shouldn’t be taken as a statement of how they will fight in every future battle. As if they won’t make every effort to learn from their mistakes. Hamas in my view has a widely inaccurate grasp of military power relations between Israel and the Resistance.
3). Israel has alot of intelligence advantages in Gaza that they didn’t have in Lebanon. Hezbollah had 6 years to basically operate freely in South Lebanon and prepare for War. Because Lebanon is a sovereign country, it was harder for Israel to attack at will (unlike Gaza) and they had little intel presence in Lebanon. Israel formally evacuated Gaza in 2006, but they still regularly intervene on raids and because of its geographical proximity to Israel proper they know it better and have easy access. Given that they went into Lebanon in 06 with bad intel, and a poor understanding of Hezbollah position, we have to assume that every possible effort has been made since then to correct that mistake. Its probably safe to assume that they know where the Hamas positions are.
4) Based on what’s happening so far, I’m wondering if Hamas feels they were maybe a bit too confident. Why aren’t they fighting back? In 06 Hezbollah was able to launch rockets into Israel for weeks despite the presence of attacking IDF soldiers all over S. Lebanon. Why isn’t Hamas doing the same thing? Hamas credibility is on the line here. If your movement is explicitly called The Islamic Resistance Movement and you don’t resist, what kind of message does that send? Its still early in the fighting, but if Hamas goes several days without being able to launch any attacks, than I think its probably an indication that Israel has pulled off a major victory.
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