Sunday, January 04, 2009

Gaza: willpower and a simple rocket

No Peace in Israel

Since Israel was founded in 1948, 60 years ago it has been constantly at war. There have been furious wars, such as in 1973 or 1982. There have been truces. There have been lulls in the fighting. But there has not been peace. Not ever.

There has been war with the neighbouring countries such as Egypt and their armies. But the last neighbouring state, Syria, gave up in the eighties.

There has been war with the Palestinians, their guerilla armies and terror organisations such as Fatah and Hamas.

The IDF has 176,000 men and women as a permanent force. Hamas has 16,000.

Israeli Offensive

Right now the fighting has flared up again. The latest round takes place in the narrow Gaza strip in the South of Israel. It is on the Mediterranean. The Israelis are applying fire power with abandon. Ground forces have attacked and invaded the tiny Gaza strip.

The Israeli government is responding to Hamas ending the cease fire that existed. Hamas is the Palestinian entity that runs the strip. It is militarily stronger than Fatah which used to run the strip. And it has more legitimacy in the eyes of the Gazans due to its more uncompromising stance against Israel. Hamas does not recognize the state of Israel, has vowed never to recognize it and is more ready than Fatah to use violence against Israel.

Hamas used to use suicide bombers against Israelis before. Israel stopped this by building a wall around Gaza. It closed off all traffic in and out.

Hamas' war objective

Hamas has vowed to regain control of the borders. Will it succeed?

The simplest rocket, the Qassam

It has fired more than 10,000 garage built Qassam rockets against Israel. The rockets are extremely simple and require only the simplest tools to be built. In military terms the rockets are laughable but Hamas has managed to elicit a massive and very visible response from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

The goal of the IDF offensive is to "control the Qassam rocket launch sites". But the Qassem require hardly any infrastructure to be manufactured or fire. Watch this Hamas propaganda movie. It give a good idea of how simple the rockets are.

Because the Qassams are so simple and can be launched from almost everywhere the IDF can only succeed when they permanently destroy the entire Gaza strip. The IDF is going to do considerable damage. But it is not going to destroy all of Gaza.

After some time the IDF ground troops will be withdrawn. The bombing will stop, when Gaza and therefore the IDF run out of targets. Hamas will still be there. With Qassams. They will observe a truce. No peace. A truce.

The conclusion: Hamas will come out on top

Mrs. Caroline Glick says what will happen next. There will be negotiations. With a mediator. The EU. "The Europeans, the Egyptians and the Turks have all adopted Hamas's demand for control of its land and sea borders as a starting point. None have included any demands for Hamas to disarm, end its weapons trafficking or commit itself to a permanent ceasefire with Israel."

Israel has demanded a monitoring force on the Gaza border. It will get a monitoring force from the EU, similar to the EU monitoring force "securing" the Lebanese - Israeli border.

Diluting political and security responsibility

The EU will tie Israel's hands in any future confrontation with Hamas.

Which is probably exactly what the current Israeli government wants. They do not want to deal with Hamas. They want to share the responsibility for Israel's security with a partner. In order to dilute their responsibility.

This Israeli offensive is just a demonstration for the Israeli public, in order to get it to accept this deal. The Israelis will accept it. They are good liberals after all, like the rest of the West.

Roll over and surrender boys. But first the fire works.

The Prussian military theorist Carl von Clauswitz wrote that: total military power is the number of men, plus weapons multiplied by will power. Hamas has only a tenth of the manpower of the IDF and extremely simple and cheap weapons. But it achieves its goals by its superior will power.

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