With 50 strikes, the IDF launches Operation Solid Rock after Hamas’ 100-rocket blitz. Hamas keeps going

DEBKAfile Special Report July 8, 2014, 8:42 AM (IDT)

Israeli finally launched its military operation Solid Rock against Hamas Monday night, July 7, after the Palestinians directed a steady stream of 100 rockets from Gaza to expanded targets as far as Rehovot, 50 km away. Most of the 50 IDF strikes were conducted from the air and two from the sea. Ten destroyed Hamas infrastructure facilities plus 4 private buildings which, according to the Palestinians, included the homes of the Hamas commander and a Democratic Front operative in Khan Younes, after Israel gave them advance warning. Hamas reported 17 injured – but kept on shooting rockets through the night and early Tuesday, threatening to further expand the range of their rocket fire.

The government and the IDF have billed the operation as a long-term, staged offensive to destroy Hamas’ logistical and strategic infrastructure, to be escalated stage by stage as needed, up to a limited ground incursion, which would require additional reserve call-ups, as well targeted assassinations. This progression will be adjusted to the enemy’s response and how quickly “quiet is restored to the South.”

The population has been forewarned that the contest may be protracted and asked to refrain from public events within a 40km radius from Gaza.
Iron Dome batteries are in place.

Israel’s security cabinet and the IDF command are counting on the prospect of losing its infrastructure deterring Hamas and persuading it to halt its rocket war on Israel.

But Hamas has its own game book and is unlikely to play by the rules dictated by Israel.

Both sides have therefore entered a dark corridor in which the two adversaries will try and outdo each other in damage. Israel began by limiting itself to air strikes. Hamas hit back with a mighty barrage of 100 missiles and expanding its range of targets.

The rules of Operation Solid Rock now require Israel to scale its response up to the next stage, in response to which Hamas will no doubt go for Tel Aviv. No one seems to know how this tit-for-tat duel will end.

The inherent weakness of the thinking behind Israeli military operation is that it requires the IDF to catch up with and undo the damage caused by Israel’s passivity after the three boys, Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach, were kidnapped and murdered on July 12. The IDF’s campaign against its facilities on the West Bank left Hamas more confident than ever. In the space of a month, the Palestinian Islamists have maneuvered Israel into launching not one but two major operations – Brother’s Keeper to find the kidnapped boys and their abductors (who are still at large) and now Solid Rock – and they still hold the initiative against Israel, as well as the whip hand in the Palestinian movement.

They certainly owe their advantage in part to the atrocious murder by a handful of Israelis of the Palestinian boy Muhammad Abu Khdeir from Shuafat, Jerusalem. This was a gift which Hamas had never dreamed of. The Islamists have been able to assert control over and calibrate Palestinian fury across the board, in Gaza, the West Bank and the Israeli Arab community – a second front against Israel.

With all these cards stacked against Solid Rock, the IDF will have its work cut out to repair the damage and bring its operation to a successful conclusion.

On the diplomatic front, Israel suffered another letdown when Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi disappointed the hopes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had vested in him to intercede powerfully with Hamas for a ceasefire. El-Sisi decided that the Israeli-Hamas conflict was a minor episode in regional terms and no real threat to Egypt’s national interests and dropped his role as peace broker.

This was a bitter disappointment to Jerusalem. It left Israel facing the Palestinian aggressor alone, but for the Europeans. They are willing to assume this role, but they are seeking the restoration of the short-lived Palestinian reconciliation and a unity government, which is the direct opposite of Netanyahu’s most fervent objective.

July 8, 2014 | 4 Comments »

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. @ NormanF:
    I visited WIKIPEDIA’s report on WEAPONS. I suggest to those interested to please visit the site and tell us if anywhere there is a requirement of “tohar haneshek”.
    The self destructive BS entry to that effect by the castrated unJews is another example of intentional acts of sabotage.
    Weapons are used to cause harm to enemies. By all means possible.

  2. Gaza could be solved in several minutes with Israel dropping a couple of neutron bombs on the place.

    Israel’s insane fixation with the unJewish “tohar haneshek” doctrine ends up with getting Jews killed.

  3. It seems as if Hamas baited Israel hoping for a ground operation. Hamas must have constructed sophisticated booby traps and ambushes in the strip. Be extremely cautious. I hope you destroy every milimeter of infrastructure you are able to.

  4. Finally something. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt for a few days. And if a ground attack supplements it, using harsh field operations, then I’ll credit for it.
    There is no question that our soldiers are fine, the command and doctrine is not up to par.
    G.d bless and keep safe our people.