Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Did Hamas Mess Up Big Time?

At least that's what Yigal Walt writes in an op-ed for YnetNews:
Hamas screwed up, again
Op-ed: Hamas’ lousy strategists again paying heavy price for their pitiable miscalculations

Hamas terrorists may excel in the art of suicide bombings and executing Fatah rivals, but have shown a penchant for making terrible strategic calls – and paying heavily for their erroneous judgment.
According to Walt, Operation Cast Lead was a result of Hamas arrogance and overestimating Israel's tolerance.for rockets fired at civilians.

Now Hamas is making more mistakes:

  • Failing to gauge Israel's response to the attack on the school bus
  • Counting on the "Goldstone Effect" to moderate an Israeli retaliation
  • Not counting on the effect of Goldstone's 'retraction'
  • Not counting on the effect of Hamas attacks coinciding with the West campaign against Gaddafi, who also targets civilians
In addition, Hamas is faced with the fact that:
  • The Iron Dome was deployed earlier than expected, with impressive results
  • The current scope of the IDF’s operations is at phase 2--out of 10, in Israel’s arsenal: Israel can still make things worse for Hamas
  • If Israel launches a ground attack into Gaza, its tanks are also armed with an anti-rocket system
  • With the current upheaval in the Middle East, Hamas cannot count on countries like Syria and Egypt
As a result, Hamas finds itself in a quandry:
Gaza’s terrorists are again finding themselves dumbfounded, confused and outmatched as the house of cards they attempted to build collapses right before their very eyes

...Indeed, Israel’s incessant strikes on Gaza targets were met with a rather deafening global silence. Instead of the global embrace it expected, Hamas now must contend with the realization that it is more isolated than ever, somewhat resembling a bride with no suitors (with the exception of that dashing fellow, Ahmadinejad.)
Walt concludes:
At this time, the beaten Hamas seems to be in deep trouble, while Israel appears to be readier than ever to face it. While most Israelis hope for the current round of fighting to end soon, further escalation – while relatively painful for Israel – may prove devastating for Gaza terrorists, who must be sitting in their bunkers now, not quite understanding how they got there.
I must admit I felt a lot better after reading all this--I'm just not sure how of it is accurate it is.
After all:

  • The anti-rocket missiles of Iron Dome are a whole lot more expensive than what Hamas is using--and it can use more primitive rockets as well as the sophisticated rockets it now has.
  • Who cares how many phases Israel has in its playbook--that doesn't mean they will use them. Besides, Israel has already made known that they added 1,200 more areas in Gaza that they won't target, which Hamas can now use. 
  • Yeah, if Israel launches a ground attack--Hamas will worry about that when the time comes.
  • Hamas was not counting on Egypt as an ally anyway--their main benefactor is Iran, and they showed they can send their ships right up the Suez Canal.

As far as the efficiency of Iron Dome goes, is Hamas really futilely firing rockets--or is it gauging its efficiency and the location of those batteries, so as to bypass it, or destroy it?

In any case, how smart does Hamas really have to be when the same West that did not come out with a strong condemnation of Israel's retaliation, did not exactly make an uproar over the targeting of a school bus by sophisticated targeted weapons?

It is far too early, and too dangerous, to claim that Israel has won this round with Hamas.

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1 comment:

NormanF said...

Hamas has been left standing - for now.

But in the long run Israel cannot tolerate a Palestinian state run by Hamas.

The only real question is no longer if but when the Hamas regime will be destroyed.