So far, Israel seems to have moved forward in achieving some of the objectives of Pillar of Defence.
As Yoav Limor writes, “Israel’s actions on Wednesday went a long way toward restoring the deterrence lost during the most recent escalation. The assassination of Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing, and the equally important targeting of Hamas’ long-range rocket caches, stunned the Islamic organization. It was reminded once again of the adversary it is up against and what the real balance of power is.
But whether Operation Pillar of Defense turns out to be a success ultimately depends on how the next few days unfold. Will Israel be able to hold onto its early gains? Will it avoid a military and diplomatic entanglement in the Gaza Strip? Will the operation help usher in a new modus vivendi that allows the residents of the south to lead their lives peacefully?”
Reuven Berko here explains the importance of Jabari, and how his assassination has dealt a body blow to Hamas. It’s also a good analysis of how Hamas was surprised by this escalation by Israel.
Berko writes “Operation Pillar of Defense, named after the biblical cloud pillar that guided the Israelites in the desert, is now guiding a new approach to handling terror: key figures and infrastructure. Taking the initiative back into Israel’s hands and dealing a premeditated, painful and methodical blow to Hamas’ key figures and its infrastructure. This is the best way to tire Hamas out and convince its leaders that the price of terror is intolerable.
Now, if Hamas wants to take out whatever resources it has left and exact revenge, their weapons reserves will be revealed, and pulverized. Hamas and the popular front organizations know full well that the hunt for people like Jabari will be followed by attacks on Gaza infrastructure. The Arab media is reporting that much of the Gaza population is hysterical. The question is, when will these hysterical voices reach Hamas?”
CAMERA provides a timeline for the leadup here Israel has been well prepared in terms of getting its message out, with understanding for Israel’s defence needs being shown by a wide range of leaders, including Pres Obama.