Israel’s Military Inflicted a Heavy Toll. But Did It Achieve Its Goal?
In contrast to Hamas, which fires unguided rockets indiscriminately at residential areas, Israel argues that officers and navy legal professionals weigh these questions fastidiously earlier than starting an assault, and have canceled assaults the place they understand there’s a threat of killing civilians — although they’ve carried out many assaults that killed and wounded civilians.
Chief among the many Israeli navy’s targets was a 250-mile tunnel community that allowed militants to cover from airstrikes, transfer round with out detection by Israeli drones and launch rockets from underground amenities. By Thursday evening, the Israeli navy mentioned it had destroyed almost a third of that community, degrading one in every of Hamas’s most treasured belongings.
Almost 30 senior Hamas commanders had been killed in Israeli strikes, in addition to a key engineer concerned in rocket manufacturing, one Israeli officer mentioned. And key analysis and growth facilities, together with one used to jam the Israeli antimissile protection system, had been destroyed, in keeping with a number of officers.
The Israeli navy additionally managed to foil an try by militants to make use of one tunnel to cross into Israel, avoiding a repeat of an embarrassing episode within the final main escalation, in 2014, one senior officer mentioned.
On the whole, that officer mentioned, Israel had managed to realize extra in 50 hours of preventing than within the 50 days of the battle in 2014. Israel even prolonged the battle a few days longer than some navy commanders believed was mandatory. They did so to decrease Hamas’s political achievements by attempting to disconnect Palestinians’ perceptions of the battle from the components that led to its eruption — like land rights and non secular tensions in East Jerusalem.
But even when Israel’s navy management deems the navy marketing campaign a short-term win, the query of what constitutes a victory in the long term — and whether or not Israel adhered to worldwide legislation within the course of — is way more contested.
For Ami Ayalon, a retired admiral and former head of the Israeli Navy, Israel’s airstrikes have introduced solely an “synthetic quiet.” The core points driving the Israeli-Palestinian battle — the shortage of a sovereign Palestinian state, hundreds of thousands of West Financial institution Palestinians below navy occupation, the blockade of Gaza — stay unaddressed.
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