Divining the News (DTN)

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Hizbollah quoting Haaretz: Israeli Offensive Gives Legitimacy to Hamas Rule in Gaza

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Interesting take on ‘Cast Lead’, as if by congratulating Israel’s military superiority – that that will mollify, pacify, humour the Israelis.

Hanan Awarekeh

27/02/2009 Israeli daily Haaretz published a report Friday in which it said that the Israeli 22-day aggression against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on December 27 has given the Hamas resistance movement more legitimacy among the public.

The Haaretz report said that after three rockets fell Thursday in the area around the Gaza Strip, what comes on the minds that Israel is still far from its declared goal in “Operation Cast Lead”. Discussion about the Israeli military operation’s outcome revolves around the term “deterrence.”

If Israel can enshrine “Cast Lead” in a long-term agreement, the war will be remembered as a success. But fears are mounting that the operation’s military achievements are dissipating. If so, the Israeli offensive will go down in history as a less-than-successful round in a long war in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli occupation forces left Gaza with the feeling that it had proven itself, after its debacle in Lebanon in 2006. But it seems that the bottom line will have to wait. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who was quick to criticize what went wrong in Lebanon, followed outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s lead in withdrawing from Gaza without a real agreement.

But like in Lebanon, faced with only an aerial attack or one followed by a ground operation, Israel chose the middle ground and acted slowly and partially. The report said, “Because in Gaza the enemy was less determined than in Lebanon, the move first appeared to be a victory. Only when the IDF left could the results of the war be seen as limited, with almost daily attacks near the fence, a continuing “drizzle” of rockets and information on renewed arms smuggling.”

The Israeli aggression has only led to increased admiration for the Hamas group, according to opinion polls in the territories. Hamas is still waiting for another crowning achievement: if captured Israeli occupation soldier Gilad Shalit is released for more than 1,000 Palestinian detainees.

However, the occupation army is currently reviewing its performance during the war and an encouraging picture is emerging in terms of its professionalism, control over units, aerial assistance to ground forces, quality of intelligence and logistics compared to the Second Lebanon War.

Haaretz said that the international community will back Israel’s military operations as long as they are short, focused, conducted from the air and do not result in major civilian casualties.

“Cast Lead” raised international hackles, because Israel lost few people to the rockets fired from Gaza, but its response caused widespread death and destruction. What’s more, in Gaza the victims were Palestinians, who already bear the brunt of the tragedy of 1948; the world is much more sympathetic to them than to Syria and Lebanon.

The major damage “Cast Lead” did was in legitimizing Hamas as the ruler of the Gaza Strip, with increasing calls for “reconciliation talks” that will return the organization to the Palestinian leadership.

The offensive was planned to coincide with the end of the term of the Israel-friendly President George W. Bush, before President Barack Obama entered office. But now, instead of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton coming to talk to Israel about the Iranian threat, her first visit in office will focus on the problems of the Palestinians in Gaza. That might be the greatest damage of all. –more–

Written by morris

February 28, 2009 at 12:52 am

Posted in Gaza, Haaretz, Hezbollah, Hizbollah, lebanon

Tagged with , ,

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