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Clueless in Gaza II

Summary:
“U.S. officials say they believe Hamas has been constrained by the Israeli operations, but that Israel will not be able to achieve, in the foreseeable future, its goal of eliminating the group’s military capability.” also “An Israeli military intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity under military protocol, said that Israel was engaged in a comprehensive mission to unravel Hamas’s military capabilities. “Is it possible this mission will be left for my children?” he said. “The answer is yes.”” and “Current and former Israeli officials said Israeli forces would most likely continue to sweep northern Gaza to tamp down the Hamas insurgency for the foreseeable future, at least until there was some kind of political

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“U.S. officials say they believe Hamas has been constrained by the Israeli operations, but that Israel will not be able to achieve, in the foreseeable future, its goal of eliminating the group’s military capability.”

also

“An Israeli military intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity under military protocol, said that Israel was engaged in a comprehensive mission to unravel Hamas’s military capabilities.

“Is it possible this mission will be left for my children?” he said. “The answer is yes.””

and “Current and former Israeli officials said Israeli forces would most likely continue to sweep northern Gaza to tamp down the Hamas insurgency for the foreseeable future, at least until there was some kind of political settlement for postwar Gaza.”

I told them so “I am assuming that Israel’s plan to destroy Hamas militarily will not succeed.” The point is that Hamas is a terrorist organization — Hamas fighters don’t wear uniforms, they can present themselves as civilians. Importantly, the October 7 massacres did not rely on large weapons which can be detected and destroyed — some drones, a few bulldozers and then ordinary vehicles carrying men with AK47s. This is not the sort of force which can be reliably found and destroyed by conventinal military means — it requires police work which requires civilian support (people willing to say something if they see something and drop a dime). Israel has made sure that it will never have such necessary civilian support.

Oddly one debate is over whether Netanyahu’s declared aim is to eliminate Hamas. Odd as he has said this many times eg here, here, here, and here. In spite of this, the Sweet Meteor of Death Itself questioned this fact when I wrote that such a goal can’t be achieved using the means Israel is using.

Clueless in Gaza II

In fact the stated goal is eradication. In spite of the risk of instant vaporization, I am delighted to have obtained some attention from the mighty SMOD.

I think one reason that Netanyahu states a clearly impossible war aim is that it is very important for hiim that the war not end. He has said that other matters (including who should be Prime Minister of Israel) should only be addressed “after Hamas” which means never.

I also note that, if all you have is a hammer, you pretend that everything is a nail. The IDF is quite good at winning battles. This is not its current goal. It has driven most residents of the Gaza strip (including most Hamas terrorist, almost all Hamas leaders, and the hundred or so hostages who have survived both Hamas and Israeli bombing) into Rafah. The problem that Israel can’t separate Hamas from the Gaza strip civilian population has been reduced in acres but not in difficulty. This was always obvious.

In contrast, Israel has missed a chance to reduce hatred of Israel by delivering aid (they even resist allowing NGOs to deliver aid). When they attacked Nasser hospital, they said they wanted it to function after the attack — it now has no food or water and the first floor is flooded with sewage. The IDF can provide health care. They are idiots because they don’t. The IDF can protect food shipments (instead of just killing Gazan police who are trying to do so). They are idiots so they don’t. Israel can not just fight the UNRWA claiming (correctly) that it overlaps with Hamas, they can aid a rival aid organization aiming to replace it. They don’t because they are idiots (I advised the last in October 2023).

It’s as if they would rather cause suffering and kill than win.

Robert Waldmann
Robert J. Waldmann is a Professor of Economics at Univeristy of Rome “Tor Vergata” and received his PhD in Economics from Harvard University. Robert runs his personal blog and is an active contributor to Angrybear.

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