I had been planning to write a post summarizing the war, its outcome (or lack of one), and who won/who lost. But once again the news has overtaken me (for the same personal reasons that I mentioned on Tisha B’Av).
At 4:00 This morning, before the ceasefire had run its course, Hamas fired a rocket at the south. And then, at 8:00 a.m. precisely, they fired a barrage of rockets and missiles at Ashkelon and other southern communities, a barrage which is still continuing. As of 2 p.m. 40 rockets had hit southern Israel. A house in the Eshkol region took a direct hit and two people were injured. It transpires that the injured man is the Director of Sapir College in the Eshkol district, which has been the target of incessant rocket attacks for years:
The Shaar Henegev resident badly wounded in a rocket fall earlier today has been identified as Dr. Nachmi Paz, the director-general of Sderot’s Sapir College.
Paz was wounded when a rocket fell near his home. The explosion left shrapnel shards in his leg. His condition was initially described as serious, but has been downgraded to moderate over the past hour. He was evacuated by MDA to Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital.
The government ordered the Israeli delegation to the ceasefire talks in Cairo to return home and, after a 2½ hour wait, instructed the IDF to resume its operations in Gaza.
Despite many soldiers being released over the last couple of days the IDF says it still has 40,000 soldiers deployed around Gaza.
What will happen next is anyone’s guess. Was this Hamas aggression a sign of weakness and frustration because neither Israel nor Egypt will accept their ridiculous list of demands in exchange for a truce? Or are they simply not interested in a ceasefire and are prepared to fight to the death?
Certainly the people of Gaza are not happy with the situation. In fact they’re furious with Hamas for landing them in their terrible predicament
Gazan families who have lost loved ones in the recent conflict reportedly confronted a Hamas official at Shifa hospital in Gaza and blamed Hamas for the deaths.
“Hamas is responsible for the suffering and the destruction caused to residents of the Gaza Strip,” a bereaved family member told Hamas spokesman Mushir Al-Masri, who was at the hospital visiting Gazans injured during Operation Protective Edge.
A poll shows that a huge majority of Gazans want a lasting ceasefire:
An overwhelming 92 percent of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip are in favor a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and 72% hope their leaders will work to achieve a lasting peace agreement with the Jewish state, a new poll has found.
Twenty-five percent of Palestinian respondents to an Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya survey on Gazan attitudes toward Operation Protective Edge said they believe Hamas had won the conflict. Eight percent said Israel was the victor, 14% said it was a draw, and 46% said both sides had lost. Sixty-seven percent said Hamas was not to blame for the destruction in the Gaza Strip, and some 68% said they would prefer the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip over the option of rearming the militant factions there.
Such poll results give me hope for the future. Maybe Gazans will stage an uprising against their Hamas dictators and bring in a more moderate government.
Following are some links summarizing Operation Protective Edge from the beginning until the ceasefire was declared on Monday.
The IDF blog has Operation Protective Edge by the numbers – all the statistics and numbers you might be interested in.
Yisrael Hayom aver that Israel’s leaders got it right:
It is all well and good that IDF officers and soldiers in the field wanted to push on. But the top IDF brass had to take a broader view. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz (who, in my opinion, was backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon) presented a gloomy picture for a potential takeover of the entire Gaza Strip — hundreds of Israeli deaths, billions of dollars spent, and a five-year occupation of Gaza.
What do people want from the IDF chief? To be dishonest? To ignore the bitter truth waiting at the end of the dark tunnel and instead just sing battle hymns as the troops march forward? What more could Israel have achieved in Operation Protective Edge than it already did?
The only thing Israel gave up was the chance to plant a blue and white flag on the Hamas headquarters in Gaza and expel Hamas abroad, from where Hamas would have continued its battle against Israel, as Yasser Arafat did. This would not have been worth the price.
David Horovitz thinks that Israel might have won but Hamas definitely lost:
Hamas lost. Whether or not Israel “won” — by which I mean attaining the “sustained calm” for its people that was the limited goal of the war — will be determined by the negotiations now taking place in Cairo, or the failure of those negotiations. But Hamas certainly lost. Three weeks ago, with its rocket capacity largely intact, its fighting forces completely intact, the tunnel network it had spent seven years building intact, and most of the Gaza it claims to represent intact, it rejected an unconditional ceasefire which Israel accepted and instead issued a long list of arrogant preconditions.
On Tuesday, with most of its rockets used to relatively little effect, hundreds of its gunmen dead, 32 of its major tunnels smashed, and Gaza devastated, its “military wing” in Gaza overruled its fat-cat political chief Khaled Mashaal in his Qatar hotel, waved a metaphorical white flag, and pleaded for the very same unconditional ceasefire. That does not constitute evisceration. Hamas aims to live to fight another day. But it does constitute defeat.
Read it all. It gives a fascinating insight into the Israeli mood both amongst the public and amongst the politicians.
Will this change if the war renews? Who knows. Stay tuned.