Decision time approaching

By Maj Gen Yaacov Amidror, ISRAEL HAYOM

[..] Now is the time to ask the real and perhaps only important question: should Israel view the Hamas threat as one does a chronic disease, which has unpleasant yet tolerable daily effects and which requires a difficult treatment every few years; or should Israel risk a complex, difficult and risky operation that, even if it could alleviate many of the symptoms completely, would require lengthy aftercare.

It is not impossible to create a reality in which there is no rocket fire from Gaza Strip, just as there is no rocket fire from Judea and Samaria. This, however, requires a complex ground maneuver to seize control of the Strip, which would undoubtedly results in many Israeli casualties. A prelude to this scenario is evident by the high number of IDF casualties sustained so far in the ground operation.

Such a maneuver is also likely to meet hostile international public opinion, including from world leaders who have so far supported Israel’s moves. Of course, simply taking Gaza Strip would not be enough and the IDF and Shin Bet security agency would have to reconstitute the intelligence infrastructure that was lost after Oslo and the disengagement.

The IDF would also have to deploy massive forces on the ground to systematically demilitarize Gaza, arrest Hamas operatives or kill those who refuse to surrender, and essentially reinstate Israel’s full military control of Gaza, just as it was prior to the IDF’s retreat from the Strip’s urban areas in 1995.

This kind of control means one thing: the military will deploy its forces across Gaza Strip according to its own consideration — there is no need to be everywhere at all times — and it will operate across Gaza as the need arises, subject to the defense establishment’s approval.

The vacuum dilemma

I believe the process of demilitarizing Gaza and arresting Hamas operatives could talk between six months and a year, and it is likely to see fierce fighting and multiple casualties. Hamas will eventually lose its ability to challenge the IDF, which in turn would assume control on the ground, as it has in Judea and Samaria.

IDF intelligence would be used to facilitate further arrests and targeted assassinations, for as long as Israeli troops are on the ground, but the level of difficulty and risk would plummet; the majority of terrorist capabilities would be thwarted and even if terror groups would mark the occasional success, it would be temporary and containable. Once all that is done — there will be no more rocket fire from Gaza at Israel.

The military dilemma, which is complex onto itself, may be compounded by a political-civilian dilemma, as no one knows who would be willing to assume responsibility for Gaza Strip once the IDF completes is mission. The IDF would be unable to leave Gaza, as that may prompt the rise of new and radical Hamas elements. In the current climate in the Middle East, any vacuum is immediately filled with radical Islamist elements, which naturally Israel cannot allow.

This is why Israel may have to reinstate the days of the pre-Oslo “civil administration,” overseeing Gaza and its 1.7 million residents by itself. It is a governmental, economic and diplomatic burden, which — differences stemming from the passage of time notwithstanding — we successfully carried for 28 years, between 1967 and 1995.

It is a difficult but feasible move that will have an unequivocal result — it will halt the Gaza rocket fire and it will put an end to the tunnel enterprise that is threatening Israelis on Israeli soil.

A military operation of this scope will see a heavy civilian death toll in Gaza Strip. Hamas has been using Palestinian civilians as human shields, as their lives are worthless to its leaders. In the long run, taking control of Gaza would save many Palestinian lives, because IDF “maintenance” on the ground would claim fewer lives than the various military campaigns had over the years.

This blessed change might make things easier for Israel, despite what is sure to be scathing international criticism of the incursion and demilitarization process. After all, Israel has been unable to rid itself from “occupation” accusations despite its complete disengagement from Gaza, and the international community has censured it, mostly over the civilian death toll in the various military operations mandated by the current situation.

Another option is a return to the cease-fire deal reached in 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense and the understandings of 2008’s Operation Cast Lead, meaning the pursuit of a mediated cease-fire as soon as the tunnels are destroyed.

To reach a cease-fire deal, Israel will have to make concessions, especially economic ones, in negotiations that should be held parallel to the continued efforts to target Hamas infrastructure from the air, as well as ongoing rocket fire at Israel.

Such a cease-fire would see Hamas re-establish its undisputed rule in Gaza Strip and allow it to reconstitute its military capabilities ahead of a future conflict, which will take place when it feels that it has become powerful enough. Hamas may not find it as easy as it once did to rebuild its severely-damaged infrastructure and restore its capabilities — Abdel Fattah el-Sissi’s regime in Egypt will not make it easy for it — but this process will only see a change of pace.

Israel will undoubtedly use this time to improve its own capabilities, just as Iron Dome had undergone updates ahead of Operation Protective Edge; but we have to realize that Hamas will be the one to decide when both parties’ capabilities will be put to the test.

I believe that given the extent of the damage Hamas has sustained, along with the Egypt-imposed constraints and international isolation, it would have to undergo a long and difficult rehabilitation process, and therefore a cease-fire — even without an IDF operation that would extend beyond the destruction of the tunnels — would be longer. This lull would also be temporary and we are likely to see the occasional rogue operative fire rockets at the Gaza vicinity communities; but it is clear that Israel would not violate a cease-fire agreement “over a few rockets.” It has not done so in the past, nor will it do so in the future.

Unfortunately, those are the only two realistic options: a lengthy, difficult operation to end the rocket fire on Israel, or a cease-fire that would lead to another round of violence in the future. Other options, ranging from “we should pummel them to the ground, cut off their water and power and starve them out” to “we should negotiate, offer them financial aid and bolster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ position,” have no practical standing and are not grounded in the realities Israel must face in regards to itself (yes, morals and ethics) and in regards to the world.

These suggestions will not achieve anything, they will lead us back to the aforementioned problem, or result in us wasting our time on worthless solutions. Financial aid to the Palestinians is important — Hamas has named it as a precondition to a cease-fire and Israel should facilitate it, but it will not change Hamas’ animosity.

You might wonder what my own opinion is, but as I have explained before, my personal opinion is not important. The facts and their correct analysis are far more important, as they allow each reader to come to their own conclusions as to the complexity of the problem and the difficulties pertaining to a future decision.

Israel’s decision-makers deserve every praise for the prudence of their actions so far, and we hope for the same in the future, but we should be aware of the fact that the problems they face have no easy solution. Sometimes simply giving something further consideration before making a careful decision, is commendable; and this case deserves even more than a second thought.

A prominent surgeon, whose advice I sought over a complex and dangerous operation, once told me that undergoing an operation is something one must do only after all other options have been exhausted and there is no other reasonable choice. Then, and only then, it should be performed, thoroughly and despite the risks.

No one understands that better than the surgeon himself, because no one is as familiar with an operation’s chances of success as well as its risks.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror is the former national security adviser and a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

July 24, 2014 | 12 Comments »

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  1. LtCol Howard Said:

    Anyone who thinks, or truly believes, that Hamas will agree to demilitarize Gaza of its rockets is deluding himself. To dismantle Hamas from rockets, it will be necessary to dismantle Hamas first.

    BUT EVEN IF ISRAEL STILL CONSIDERS COMING TO TERMS WITH THE EXISTENCE AND PRESENCE OF THE HAMAS ARMY IN THE GAZA STRIP, ONE THING MUST BE REMEMBERED: NO OTHER ORGANIZATION COULD BE MORE VIOLENT OR HAZARDOUS TO THE STATE OF ISRAEL’S SECURITY THAN HAMAS.

    L

    Thanks Lt. Colonel Howard. Your info is very much helpful to those in authority. I hope Ted will forward it to competent authorities. If what was posted is true, it will help IDF to design the best plan to get rid off Hamas and its infrastructures once for all!

  2. Generally I would send this article to Ted Belman for his evaluation However, because of the speed of this discussion I am posting it directly. This is not an endorsement nor an evaluation.

    SOURCE AND CONTENT….. NOT EVALUATED

    Begin forwarded message:

    From: LTGJC
    Date: July 24, 2014 11:27:58 AM PDT
    To: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA OBAMA , Joe biden

    Hamas, the first Palestinian army
    Author Shlomi Eldar Al Monitor July 23, 2014 Translator Sandy Bloom

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/07/hamas-terror-organization-recruit-army-gaza-is-idf-tunnels.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=8491c94ed7-July_24_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-8491c94ed7-93087173

    Israel did not rightly assess Hamas’ military abilities and must henceforth stop considering it as terror cells, like the other Gaza Strip groups, but as an army that it should aspire to bring down.

    In recent years, two narratives developed in Israel regarding its face-off against the Hamas movement. According to the first one, Hamas is a terrorist organization and, therefore, classic anti-terror tactics must be used to fight it. The second narrative, formed after Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, holds that Israel must create a balance of military and economic terror against the organization and erect clear red lines. Only if those lines are crossed by Hamas should Israel begin action to destroy the organization.

    In general, Israeli governments adopted relatively restrained policies of containment vis-a-vis Hamas. The reason for this was the assumption that should the Hamas regime be overturned militarily or collapse economically, the alternative regimes in the Gaza Strip could be much worse and much more dangerous to the security of Israel. Operation Protective Edge already proves that both narratives are no longer applicable.

    The Hamas movement was founded six days after the eruption of the first intifada at the end of 1987. The first terrorist acts of the military wing were perpetrated by the “101 Unit” established in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Its people abducted and murdered Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers Avi Sasportas (February 1989) and Ilan Saadon (May 1989), and concealed their bodies.

    Hamas’ terrorist acts became more deadly and murderous after the signing of the Oslo Accord between Israel and the PLO in 1993. Hamas attempted to subvert the agreement with terrorist attacks by suicide bombers. The height of suicide terrorism was reached in the second intifada in 2000, when the State of Israel was inundated by a wave of attacks that were directed mainly against civilians. Hamas’ military wing then adopted the suicide attack model of Hezbollah. Small, compartmentalized terror cells acted independently to plan attacks and send terrorists to blow themselves up in shopping centers and buses in Israel’s major cities.

    After the disengagement from the Gaza Strip (August 2005), the movement underwent a strategic change: From small terror cells, it developed into a real army. Hamas became an organization of uniform wearers whose daily pursuit was military; they were trained according to the doctrine of a recruited army. They underwent weapons training and developed excellent military skills, together with religious indoctrination to strengthen their faith and adherence to the jihadist cause. Thus, in effect, Hamas created the first Palestinian army.

    It is believed that the Hamas army drafted between 15,000 and 20,000 men, divided into three geographic brigades in the north, center and south of the Gaza Strip. At the same time, it also established elite units for special, localized operations. During the current Protective Edge operation, these units were tasked with implementing the combat doctrine they had acquired throughout the years: to infiltrate Israeli territory through underground tunnels and attack army bases or civilian population centers. Each unit numbers between 10 and 15 fighters who know that their chances of surviving any such military operation are very small. In effect, these are suicide missions. Hundreds of Hamas soldiers were trained according to this combat doctrine during recent years, mainly after the Pillar of Defense operation and as part of the organization’s subsequent preparations for the next round.

    A Hamas unit that infiltrated Israeli territory July 21 near Kibbutz Nir Am succeeded in firing an anti-tank missile at an IDF jeep that killed Lt. Col. Dolev Keidar (regiment commander of the IDF’s officer training school) and three soldiers who traveled with him. The assault was documented by cameras placed along the length of the border between Gaza and Israel; 10 armed terrorists wearing uniforms similar to IDF uniforms, including helmets and camouflage gear, were seen before they attacked the IDF jeep that approached them.

    This filmed ambush displayed the abilities and expertise of Hamas fighters better than any propaganda video clip disseminated by Hamas. The footage clearly demonstrates that the IDF does not face terror cells this time, but a real army.

    The two previous IDF operations in the Gaza Strip, Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense, took Hamas by surprise. This time, the organization painstakingly planned for this attack over years. In contrast, the IDF did not appropriately assess the scope of the threat of the underground tunnels.

    We ask the question: Now that Hamas’ true dimensions and magnitude are apparent, does Israel still believe that it is best to endure the Hamas regime in Gaza as the lesser of evils? Is Hamas to be preferred over the unknown entities that would take its place?

    When Israel talks about the “unknown” — meaning the entity that would take control of the Gaza Strip should Hamas be overturned or fall apart, and about the new threats it would bring with it — it mainly alludes to the Islamic State (IS). This Islamist organization has already succeeded in conquering cities in Iraq, and apparently is expanding to the Gaza Strip and to the Sinai Peninsula. It proclaims that its goal is to establish an Islamic state from Iraq to Syria.

    But how is a Hamas army different than the fanatical organization that operates in Iraq? Both are fueled by religious belief in martyrdom designed to sanctify Allah’s name, both have recruited armies that are well trained and display excellent military skills. Therefore, Israel should no longer view Hamas as the Gaza Strip’s de facto, default rulers. How can other Salafist organizations in Gaza, in addition to the Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committees, threaten Israel more than Hamas?

    Hamas operates mainly according to the utterances made by the members of the military wing. All of Gaza’s resources were mobilized on behalf of exaggerated armament and incredible underground protection. The IS cells, the Salafist organizations and Islamic Jihad do not have access to such tremendous financial resources. While Hamas has long been regarded as the default ruler of Gaza in Israel’ eyes, that does not have to be true any longer. Israel did not appropriately assess Hamas’ military abilities or, evidently, its intentions. Until the eruption of the current operation, many in Israel estimated that Hamas was in crisis and thus not interested in entering into conflict with Israel at this time.

    ANY CEASE-FIRE THAT WILL BE DECLARED BETWEEN ISRAEL AND HAMAS WILL BE VIEWED AS A VICTORY BY THE PALESTINIAN ORGANIZATION. HAMAS WILL VIEW IT AS A RESPITE FOR REORGANIZATION, RECONSTRUCTION AND ENLARGING ITS RECRUITED ARMY FOR THE NEXT ROUND OF HOSTILITIES. Even destruction of the tunnels, as effective as that may be, will not destroy Hamas or its military wing. The Hamas command echelon, the heads of the military wing and the commanders of the Hamas brigades are still protected in their bunkers below Gaza, as are the leaders of the political wing.

    Anyone who thinks, or truly believes, that Hamas will agree to demilitarize Gaza of its rockets is deluding himself. To dismantle Hamas from rockets, it will be necessary to dismantle Hamas first.

    BUT EVEN IF ISRAEL STILL CONSIDERS COMING TO TERMS WITH THE EXISTENCE AND PRESENCE OF THE HAMAS ARMY IN THE GAZA STRIP, ONE THING MUST BE REMEMBERED: NO OTHER ORGANIZATION COULD BE MORE VIOLENT OR HAZARDOUS TO THE STATE OF ISRAEL’S SECURITY THAN HAMAS.

    L

  3. There is no “peace” process. Negotiations were a sham, certain to fail and result in terrorist attacks. The parties could not even agree on a definition of “peace”.
    IMO, the war must be won, now. The trend must be turned. Terrorist enclaves must be eliminated not maintained. Iran must be neutered. We know who is willing to sign the check. Israel should cash the check before it bounces.

  4. Topaz Said:

    THERE IS NO SOLUTION TO SURVIVAL OF A NATION BUT THE TOTAL DEFEAT OF THE ENEMY. This is the ONLY solution that has EVER worked in the entire history of the world. Thatcher fought a war for a small island half way across the world, until she won! Since then, no more trouble. Had the Allies headed this man’s and other such people’s words, we would ALL be living under the Nazi yoke, That is all but the JEWS. Him and I would not be around to have this discussion.

    Topaz Said:

    Israel must immediately hire P.R. persons who are geniuses at their job. ONLY these people must be allowed to speak to the media etc. NO ONE ELSE. Learn from your enemy.

    Topaz Said:

    And Israel was armed so that NO other nation or people will feel free to attack Jewish people and get away with it. The Israeli people must now demand their government and military leaders be just that.

    Thanks Topaz for your excellent assessment! I cannot agree more.
    The only question, I have for you is: if most countries of the world turns against her, is Israel ready to survive on its own? Its enemies know well that they cannot challenge her militarily and survive if Israel uses all of its might.

    If your answer to my question is, yes, it can – it is better now to get rid off Hamas. Even if Israel could survive under a decline in its economic situation, the best thing to do is to completely destroy Hamas and its infrastructure and have Gaza demilitarized. If not, giving Hamas another opportunity to fight Israel amounts to committing a suicide.

  5. Destroy Hamas and take over the strip militarily. If we find locals to do the municipal administrative work good (e.g. trash collection, firefighting, schooling) under Israeli security (only guns will be Israeli) fine. In other words the same as Area A in Judah and Samaria minus the guys with guns (PA Police)!

    Try over time to find visas for the Gazans to other locations (2/3rds) of the population is now under 15 years of age. Consider reestablishing the Jewish Towns especially in the north where Jews bought the land in the 30s and 40s.

  6. I have tried to post this twice. Seemingly to no avail. Perhaps this will be the good luck charm.
    1) SWC Exclusive with Ehud Yaari: The full story behind the kidnappings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxOmuTW4xM4&list=UUXkn5tD-0i2B8dHdhPGQTtw&feature=share

    Look at 1:54 for the identities of the kidnappers of the three boys.

    There is definitive evidence that those who were responsible were released in previous swaps AND from the Gilat Shalit (poor soul) swap.

    2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_kidnapping_and_murder_of_Israeli_teenagers
    On 26 June, the Israel Security Agency released the identities of two Hamas suspects in the kidnapping.[16] Both ISA and Palestinian authorities said that the two men have been missing since the night of the kidnapping, and the ISA stated that both had engaged in terrorism, been arrested, and served time in the past, and were considered suspects immediately after the kidnapping.

    3) ANOTHER MURDER BY RELEASED MURDERERS
    http://www.thejc.com/news/topics/gilad-shalit
    A former Palestinian prisoner who was released under the Gilad Shalit deal has been charged with murder. Ziad Awwad was indicted on Monday for the April 14 murder of Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi.

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.601448
    a prisoner released in the Shalit deal has been arrested and charged with the murder of an Israeli police officer killed on the eve of Passover, Baruch Mizrahi.

  7. Phoenix. I have searched for the Info. found these, It is TRUE that the kidnappers had been released in prisoner swaps, some from the latest Gilat Shalit sadness. Their deaths and future kidnappings are on the heads of the so-called leaders of Israel and the US.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxOmuTW4xM4&list=UUXkn5tD-0i2B8dHdhPGQTtw&feature=share

    In this YouTube video the information is given as to the identity of the three kidnappers. Two had been released in prior swaps and others was released in the Galit Shalit swap, (look at 1:54).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_kidnapping_and_murder_of_Israeli_teenagers
    On 26 June, the Israel Security Agency released the identities of two Hamas suspects in the kidnapping.[16] Both ISA and Palestinian authorities said that the two men have been missing since the night of the kidnapping, and the ISA stated that both had engaged in terrorism, been arrested, and served time in the past, and were considered suspects immediately after the kidnapping.

    http://www.thejc.com/news/topics/gilad-shalit
    A former Palestinian prisoner who was released under the Gilad Shalit deal has been charged with murder. Ziad Awwad was indicted on Monday for the April 14 murder of Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi.

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.601448
    a prisoner released in the Shalit deal has been arrested and charged with the murder of an Israeli police officer killed on the eve of Passover, Baruch Mizrahi.

  8. I want to add this Email that I received today from Naomi Ragen. It speaks to me of the Israeli soul.
    This is a letter that, for me, defines the Israel soul.
    News from the Front. I hope this post circles the planet. Lily

    A friend and former neighbor sent me the following e-mail today.

    My son was injured ( lightly) and is in Bellinson hospital . He was injured in
    the incident where 3 paratroopers were killed and many others were injured from 2 units. ( in Gaza)
    I thank Hashem for his return home and I am praying that all the Chayalim ( Chayal Boded, lone soldier in the IDF) come home soon. It’s 4:00 am and I am up since 3:00 – looking online and worrying about the Chayalim who are still out there. Hundreds of Am Yisrael came into my
    son’s room yesterday. Every visitor came with well wishes and thank – yous ( and treats) for the brave Chayalim . One whole family walked in- the family of Eyal Yifrach – one of the three kidnapped and murdered teens . They came with a beautiful message and with warm smiles . “We are the family and parents of Eyal Yifrach. We love you from all our heart and we pray for your speedy recovery and quick return home. There are no words for our admiration and love for you. Just one word – thank you. Thank you that you searched for our Eyal ( Gilad and
    Naftali ) day and night. Thank you that you did not give up day or night. Thank you that you are doing a job without any preconditions. Thank you that you were there instead of him and for him. Thank you that you continue to protect us under fire. Thank you that you fought on the front for us. Thank you for what you are. And we pray to Hashem that he protects and saves the soldiers of the IDF who are standing on our borders and who are guarding our land and may Hashem grant the wounded a speedy recovery”

    love the Yifrach family .

    Please keep the Chayalim in your prayers.

  9. @ Topaz:
    Not much that could be added to this eloquent post for it is factual truthful and presented in a non pc/ bs language.
    One thing topaz. Do you have a link to this?

    If I am not mistaken, the monsters who kidnapped and slaughtered the three boys, had recently been released.

    It.surely.cannot.be.so.!!!
    I hope and pray that you are mistaken.

  10. GARBAGE! We can tell from his words where this man’s sympathies lie.

    There was a time when the goal was to amass a fortune for the “Palestinian” leaders from the annual influx of billions of dollar in foreign aid funds. The method was to keep their story in the media spotlight at all times, whenever trouble occurred in any other part of the world, the leaders almost immediately ratcheted up the violence to bring the media spotlight back and thus the mega billions continuing. This is all planned and at the ready – the violence and the propaganda; and their willing partners in the media.

    THIS TIME IT IS DIFFERENT. Hamas and IS and Iran and Qatar are there. Their goal is world domination and the reinstitution of the Shoah. Nothing less.

    Their military capabilities will become formidable with the Qatar purchase of mega millions of dollars now from the US of sophisticate military aircraft etc., these will flow to Gaza. The rockets, that could down an aircraft from 30,000 feet, will flow to Gaza. The discovery of a fortified city of tunnels within Gaza should have given this man a reality smack across the face.

    There is no next time. Rationalizing that Israel will have better weapons next time, that Israel can live with repeated occasional rocket fire etc, is suicide prolonged. What about the DIGNITY of the nation. What about the children growing up in trauma, running for cover. What about Israel being into ghetto where families have to run to HIDE in bomb shelters. What about the continued kidnappings and releases of mass murderers. If I am not mistaken, the monsters who kidnapped and slaughtered the three boys, had recently been released.

    THERE IS NO SOLUTION TO SURVIVAL OF A NATION BUT THE TOTAL DEFEAT OF THE ENEMY. This is the ONLY solution that has EVER worked in the entire history of the world. Thatcher fought a war for a small island half way across the world, until she won! Since then, no more trouble. Had the Allies headed this man’s and other such people’s words, we would ALL be living under the Nazi yoke, That is all but the JEWS. Him and I would not be around to have this discussion.

    Sending in the ground troops BEFORE this war was TAKEN TO THE PEOPLE of GAZA, was a stupid move on the altar of political correctness. Netanyahu is now circling the globe to seek moral support. The result of all his efforts is the closing of Israel’s airport by the US and ALL the other nations rapidly following; a moral and economic catastrophic isolation for Israel and a major victory for Hamas. They can now close the airport at their choosing. I see the photos of the world leaders as Netanyahu speaks with them, their faces are stone.

    Israel must immediately hire P.R. persons who are geniuses at their job. ONLY these people must be allowed to speak to the media etc. NO ONE ELSE. Learn from your enemy.

    The IDF must immediately flatten ALL commercial buildings, the mega malls, the tall office buildings, the factories, the markets. Do it fast. The Gazans must feel the consequences and turn on their leaders.

    The lives of the Israeli Soldier must be 1000 % primary in ALL operations.

    Flyers must be reigned on Gaza , day and night, informing of the mega billions they receive annually and that this money is stolen by their leaders who become billionaires, and who do not put themselves or THEIR families at risk. That this money and Israel will make GAZA into a financial and business and tourist paradise rivalling any other. (Like Lebanon had been before their embrace of Hezbollah) This is their choice and possibility. They must seize their country away from those who would use GAZA for THEIR country’s goals and benefit.

    And the Israeli leaders have to finally free themselves from the Golda Meir syndrome. i.e. “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.” NEVER!! Israel was created so that Jewish children will no longer be expendable for ANY cause, for any other people. And Israel was armed so that NO other nation or people will feel free to attack Jewish people and get away with it. The Israeli people must now demand their government and military leaders be just that.

  11. It is not impossible to create a reality in which there is no rocket fire from Gaza Strip, just as there is no rocket fire from Judea and Samaria. This, however, requires a complex ground maneuver to seize control of the Strip, which would undoubtedly results in many Israeli casualties.

    Perhaps now would be a good time for yamit to post once more the parable of the king, the servant and the fish…
    An immediate demonstration of the absurdity of this statement comes from the fight for the shejaia neighborhood where FIRST we lost over a dozen of our own boys so as to prevent so called civilian damage , and only AFTER that, heavy duty bombing was unleashed..
    WHY NOT DO IT AS THE MAJOR PART OF THE OPERATION ??
    At the end, Israel will reclaim gaza (to the howling chorus of the world to be sure) . There will be a cost in life and treasure to be sure, but by being proactive, and grabbing the bull by the horns, this cost could be reduced significantly (and hopefully amount to only monetary cost)
    NO CONSIDERATION whatsoever of the other side (the candy giving “innocent civilians” )should enter into the decision process .
    ENOUGH with “surgical strikes”!

    Now that these shposes realize that Israel does and will carry out its warnings, is a golden opportunity to give them one hour to pack up their keffiyehs and hijabs and to go west,or swim!

    REBUILD GUSH KATIF !!
    this would open the flood gates of alyah . Win,win,win!!!