Saturday, January 03, 2009

Israel sends tanks into Gaza

Israel has sent ground forces into Gaza.

Its at times like this that it is useful to address some important questions;

Who broke the ceasefire?

This seems a bone on contention in some corners, though many point the finger at Hamas. Some point the finger at Israel. Neither is of course true, as the ceasefire was never implemented. In particular there has been no lifting of the economic blockade which has lasted since June 2007, with only sporadic openings of the border for very limited supplies with no provision for Gaza to get any exports out.

Who will win?

Well, who knows. It depends on who sets the victory conditions. In 2006 Hezbollah "won" in many ways, certainly many in Israel felt they did not come out of it victors. Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has gained much cudos.

In this war, we have to be clear that Hamas are no Hezbollah, but then Gaza is difficult terrain because it is small, and so limited places for Israeli forces to go. In short it makes large land mines easier as well as ambushes.

Having said all that if Hamas can still launch missiles into Israel (I would class that as a certainty, they are home made and can make it from the farthest corner of Gaza into Israel) then some will count that as a victory for Hamas.

Some other points of note:

Hamas is an organisation that owes its early days to Shin Bet. They saw it as a bulwark against the secular PLO and Fatah. You would have to laugh at Israel having to kill a monster of its own creation if it did not involve so much death and destruction either side of the border.

The BBC has this.

1 comment:

lady macleod said...

It's difficult to find a laugh in this situation.