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HomeGeopolitical CompassThe LevantIsrael Is Bluffing About Ever Invading Gaza

Israel Is Bluffing About Ever Invading Gaza

Author: Anchal Vohra

Affiliation: Foreign Policy, and Freelance correspondent and commentator

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Policy

Date/Place: May 17, 2021/Washington, DC, USA

Type of Literature: Voice

Word Count: 1450

Link: https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/05/17/israel-is-bluffing-about-ever-invading-gaza/ 

Keywords: Gaza, Israel, Military Invasion, Hamas

 

Brief:

 

Anchal Vohra discusses the Israeli announcement of sending ground troops to invade Gaza and the possible scenarios of Gaza invasion. Vohra argues that such announcement is merely an idle threat, to cause panic in the Hamas’s front to easily target them in the tunnels or what is referred to as “the Metro”. This is considered as a significant gain by the Israelis, which is anticipated to be the first step toward de-escalation. Vohra underlines three options to the Israeli military in the current situation. First, it could attack from outside Gaza and knock down a few high-value targets. Second, it could adopt a limited invasion as those in 2009 and 2014 to destroy Hamas’s capabilities. Third, it could “reconquer Gaza” to defat Hamas and destroy its military capabilities. However, to achieve that, Israel would have to fully occupy Gaza to destroy Hamas’s facilities. Moreover, Israel would have to keep its control over the strip since Hamas has proven that it can rebuild. Although the invasion option is militarily reasonable, it is politically infeasible for many reasons. Full occupation would result in ‘a bloodbath’. Accordingly, containment of Hamas is better for the Israeli interest than destroying it. Beside high casualties, fatal insurgence would not be avoided. The reconstruction of Gaza would be the responsibility of Israel. Moreover, this would create economic troubles and a power vacuum as well. In addition, the Palestinian Authority is incapable of any leading role in Gaza since it lacks the security apparatus and the legitimacy between its inhabitants. Critically, it is adopted in Israel that Hamas plays the role of managing an impoverished Muslim population that Israel could not include as citizens since they would change the demographics in favor of the Palestinians. Vohra concludes that the best strategy is to keep Hamas weak and systematically destroy its capabilities. Depending on limited ground invasions and attacking Gaza from the outside to create a victory story is the best scenario for Israel in the current situation. Both sides could show what they got from their attacks and exploit it to end their escalation. While Israel considers the attacks on the ‘Metro’ a major achievement, Hamas could rest on its ability to respond to the violations toward Al-Aqsa Mosque.

 

By: Yomna Süleyman, CIGA Research Assistant



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