SOLYMONE BLOG

ISRAEL'S OPERATION IN GAZA IS IN PROBLEM


It can be assumed that the longer the fighting continues, the more trouble Israel's quarrelling leadership will have staying unified.
In the end, as in every war, the defense establishment will argue that it was stopped a moment before it destroyed the enemy while the diplomats will say the fighting went on too long, until Israel lost international support.

  • Operation Cast Lead is entering the problematic phase of any war: The first, surprise strike is over, the operational successes are less impressive, and the enemy is beginning to rally. Israel would want to continue hurting Hamas, but the goals readied before the operation are running out and the magical aerial solutions that do not involve loss of soldiers are coming to an end.
  • This is the stage when the government must decide whether to send ground troops into the Gaza Strip and begin face-to-face combat with Hamas or make do with threats, seek a cease-fire that will bear the imprint of the
  • bombardments of the first days and announce that the goal had been attained and threaten that if rocket-fire from Gaza continues the next strike will be more painful.
  • Monday the first signs of controversy surfaced in Israel regarding the continuation of the operation and its character. The defense establishment at first spoke enthusiastically about a three- and even four-week operation, and about preparations for a ground assault. The cabinet decision allows for such an escalation, up to retaking the Gaza Strip, but the Foreign Ministry says the international community will stop Israel long before that.
  • Meanwhile, the diplomatic arena is quiet. Israel discounts today's meeting of European Union foreign ministers and the urgent calls from the United Nations secretary general and the foreign ministers of Britain and France for an immediate cease-fire.
  • No senior envoy is on the way to Israel to stop the fighting. The Bush White House is very pleased with the blow struck against Hamas.
  • Israel cannot expect the world to "save it from itself," and it should look for ways to end the conflict quickly. The danger lurking here is a feeling of success that would drag on the action and increase the chances of unpleasant entanglements.
Source: Haaretz Correspondent
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