Connect with us

World news

Israel to wait Hamas out?



Obama interferes in Israeli elections. Does he also use taxpayer money to pay for it?

Can Israel wait Hamas out? That seems incredible. After all, Hamas now has rockets that let it reach all the way to the Dead Sea and almost to the Golan Heights to the north and Eilat to the south. But two experts, who should know, say Hamas started this latest war out of desperation. Desperate men lose more often than win. So maybe the leaders of Israel calculate wisely, to strike back only in the air (or with special forces) until Hamas runs out of missiles.

Israel v. Hamas – the latest

Over the weekend, the generals who now rule Egypt, brokered a cease-fire. Israel accepted it. Hamas broke it. So the fighting started all over again. And now everyone who cares to know, knows the fault lies with Hamas and only Hamas. They had an agreement, and they broke it.

Why did Hamas refuse to abide by, or even accept, a cease-fire? Why did they start firing such long-range missiles to begin with? Missiles, unlike artillery shells, are expensive. Someone has to replace them. Normally you start a war only if you think the other side will run out of ammunition before you do. Hamas could be sure of no such thing. Israel is not even close to running out of ammo. (And if they did, they could always ask for the keys to a stockpile of American ammo for an emergency like this. They haven’t asked. Would de facto President Barack Obama refuse? He might not dare refuse in the face of the Hamas breach of the cease-fire.)

So again: why did Hamas start a war they probably can’t finish?

Israel v. Hamas – the experts speak

Israel, Judea-Samaria, and Gaza

Israel, its neighbors, and disputed territories. Graphic: Central Intelligence Agency

The head of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), and his Vice-President for Research and chief of his Israel bureau, wrote an “Inquiry and Analysis” to answer that. For one thing, they said, the Hamas military wing acted without orders. They did this after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF, or Tzahal in Hebrew) blew up a key tunnel from Gaza into Israel. Hamas’ generals (if they rate that term) had planned to use that tunnel to smuggle their own activists, and their weapons, deep inside Israel to attack civilians where they lived. The Tzahal found the tunnel, blew it up, and killed several Hamas people inside it.

So the Hamas leaders sought to provoke a ground invasion or other big reaction. They must have counted on that to rally civilians living in Gaza.

Only two things didn’t happen. First, the Tzahal didn’t invade. They are poised to invade when the Cabinet make up their minds. But they haven’t invaded yet. All they’ve done is hit Hamas launch points. And second, the people didn’t rally to Hamas as Hamas hoped they would.

In fact, say the MEMRI experts, the people of the Gaza Strip are close to fed up with Hamas. Their reaching-out to Mahmoud Abbas in Judea and Samaria (“The West Bank”) brought them nothing. (In fact, Abbas likely betrayed them; more on that below.) The Gaza economy is in crisis. So Hamas were desperate to get a rise out of Israel and rally their own people to their side. Strike one, and strike two.

Hamas has run out of friends abroad. They were on the wrong side of the Syrian civil war. The Iranians haven’t forgiven them for that. So much for fresh supplies of long-range missiles.

Egypt’s Muhammad Mursi might have been a friend of theirs. The generals who bounced Mursi and took over in Egypt are not. Those same generals shut down the tunnels that opened into the Sinai. Egypt closed the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza. The generals in Egypt consider Hamas outlaws, much as Hosni Mubarak did.

And when some Hamas people kidnapped and murdered three Israeli boys (one having American dual citizenship), Mahmoud Abbas cooperated – with the Tzahal. By killing the three, Hamas threw away a chance to get Israel to release more prisoners. Some of the same prisoners they got back for Gilad Shalit, the Tzahal have arrested all over again. Nor did Arabs living in Judea-Samaria raise any “third Intifada.”

Result: Hamas got desperate. So when the Tzahal blew up that tunnel, Hamas hit back with everything they had.

Now we know why Israel has not invaded in force. They probably think Hamas will blow out like an incandescent lightbulb flashing brightly before turning dark for good. And that might happen, just as Israel’s leaders expect.

<a href="" title="Israel to wait Hamas out?">Israel to wait Hamas out?</a>


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Editor-in-chief at | + posts

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

CATEGORY:World news
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Fergus Mason

“they could always ask for the keys to a stockpile of American ammo for an emergency like this.”

Probably not. The Pentagon is still furious that they broke into it for the 2006 Lebanon invasion. There’s nothing the USA can do to stop the Israelis using the stockpiles if they want, but if they do it again for anything less than an actual threat to Israel’s existence I don’t see what they use being replaced. Congress may be happy to write Tel Aviv a blank cheque, but the DoD certainly isn’t.


I don’t think Hamas are going anywhere soon. The only people who really want that are the Egyptians (who have long wanted Hamas out the picture in order to undermine Arab rebels in the Sinai) and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

These are two good reasons for Israel to kick Hamas around a bit when they get out of line, but NOT to seriously hurt them. If Hamas were to collapse, the PA would become the supreme power in the Palestinian territories, and that would be a major problem. A unified Palestinian body would have better chances of reaching out to overseas allies and put pressure on the Israelis. Israel helped found Hamas to prevent precisely that, and that “divide and rule” logic still stands.

Secondly, the possibility to Hamas falling in Gaza, but the PA *not* taking over is an even serious concern. Hamas and Israel have an implicit understanding about divide and rule that other groups like Islamic Jihad do not share.

As for missiles being expensive, I think you overestimate what it is that actually pass for Palestinian “missiles”. There’s a few smuggled rockets, mostly very early Soviet artillery designs – all unguided, and a some home-made clones that are literally the sort of thing high school science educated enthusiasts would knock up in a garage. All you need is scrap metal, some household and agricultural chemicals, and a few DIY tools and supplies. Both sides stand to gain by talking up Palestinian rocketry, but they are little more than glorified bottle rockets that are launched to make a point.


This, though I can’t for the life of me see why the IDF would need to use US stockpiles just to lob shells and missiles at some houses in Gaza. If they do, then they really need to rethink their stores and supply strategy pretty quickly.

[…] Israel to wait out Hamas? […]

Peter Egan

Peter Egan liked this on Facebook.

[…] Israeli prisoner exchange. Gilad Shalit, a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), who had been kidnapped by Hamas militants in a cross-border raid via underground tunnels near the Israeli border, had been […]


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x