Sure looks like Israel’s about to launch ground operations in Gaza

posted at 8:59 pm on November 16, 2012 by Allahpundit

They’ve been holding off, partly to give Egypt time to try to broker a truce and partly because they know escalation will make the true believers in Cairo scream even more loudly about tearing up the treaty. But no truce is in the offing right now and they’re not going to sit by while Tel Aviv and Jerusalem(!) are targeted. So here we go:

Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved the IDF’s request on Friday evening to increase the maximum number of reservists it could enlist, seeking cabinet approval to mobilize up to 75,000 troops ahead of a possible Gaza ground operation.

The Inner Cabinet, a group of nine senior ministers, met for over three hours to discuss the possibility of a ground operation into the Hamas-controlled enclave, but released no statements or indications as to what transpired during the meeting…

The IDF also revealed on Friday that it had taken out Hamas’s nascent drone program.

Israel’s foreign minister ruled out regime change as a strategic goal (this time) so their top priority presumably is to seek and destroy Hamas’s remaining Iranian-made long-range missiles. One thing I don’t understand, though: Why now? Why did Hamas choose this moment to ramp up rocket attacks and try to bait Israel into a more extended confrontation? Normally that question begins by assessing the motives of their patron, Iran, and their pals in Egypt, but it’s not obvious to me how either of those countries benefit significantly from a short Gaza conflict right now. Hamas isn’t going to degrade Israeli air power needed for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and a war in Gaza won’t go on long enough to substantially delay an Israeli attack on Iran if one’s in the offing. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood wants a confrontation with Israel eventually but probably not just yet; a new war and humiliating defeat would crush their ambitions a year after taking power, and Morsi’s grip on the military probably isn’t firm enough yet to guarantee that the army will support a new conflict with the IDF.

So why is Hamas doing this? Is it something ordered on their own initiative, maybe to pressure Morsi into supporting them full-throatedly? (If so, it’s working. He just sent his PM to Gaza for a courtesy call with Hamas.) Is the JPost right that this is actually some sort of morale-building exercise by Hamas after Israel liquidated terror capo Ahmed Jabari? Or is there a political calculus aimed at Israeli civilians?

Netanyahu is favorite to win a January national election, but further rocket strikes against Tel Aviv, a free-wheeling city Israelis equate with New York, and Jerusalem, which Israel regards as its capital, could be political poison for the conservative leader…

Asked about Israel massing forces for a possible Gaza invasion, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: “The Israelis should be aware of the grave results of such a raid, and they should bring their body bags.”

Undermine Netanyahu’s security credentials by threatening Jerusalem or by turning an invasion of Gaza into a fiasco and a more dovish candidate might benefit in Israeli elections. The only problem with that theory? Arguably, this is in fact a perfect time for Israel to tackle Hamas:

For months Israel has been determined to take steps to show that it would defend its interests.

The U.S. very publicly demanded restraint from Israel in terms of the Iranian nuclear program and would not commit to providing the backing several analysts say that Israel would need to make the operation successful. So Israel backed off from its loud threats to Iran, for now.

Chaos in Syria spilling over into Lebanon in the form of a devastating car bombing has forced Iranian proxy Hezbollah to focus on keeping Assad in power and taking out targets within Lebanon, rather than striking Israel.

So Gaza is the only obvious target remaining, and direct conflict in the form of Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli strikes have grown increasingly intense and frequent as the year has progressed.

With Jabari and several other Hamas leaders dead and the IDF hard at work on pulverizing their missile depots, Netanyahu’s probably boosted his reelection credentials at this point. But that’s what makes the mobilization of reserves and possible ground operations surprising. He must think they’re absolutely necessary to liquidate Hamas’s remaining arsenal if he’s choosing not to quit while he’s ahead politically.

The latest news, by the way: Rockets have allegedly been fired into Israel from … the Sinai. If I were you, I’d take five minutes to read David French’s post from yesterday about how the rules of war govern a conflict in Gaza. You’ll be hearing a lot of disinformation about this next week if the IDF does end up going in.

Update: Invasion is no easy business.


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Comment pages: 1 2

They gave up Gaza “for peace” and it’s been used as a base of operations against them by their enemies ever since. Take it back and keep it.

That’s why they took back the Golan Heights. They should do the same here.

predator on November 16, 2012 at 9:14 PM

And if Morsi pushes the Egyptian army into the war against Israel, thus breaking the peace treaty, Israel should set up a defensible border with Egypt by retaking the Sinai. They can have it back when they have a government not dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the West but instead dedicated to the well being of the Egyptian people.

KW64 on November 16, 2012 at 11:32 PM

@AlArabiya_Eng tweeted:
AlArabiya_Eng
BreakingNews: Israeli air raid targets the house of Hamas official Ibrahim Salah in Gaza: Al Arabiya correspondent

19 mins ago from twitter.com by editor

http://www.breakingnews.com/

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/israel-airstrikes-kill-hamas-commander

canopfor on November 16, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Kill all of them. The Mongols had it right.

iconoclast on November 16, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Phony dishonest scum PravdaMSM won’t be able to manufacture outrage and cover for President Eye Candy with an attack on a Romney Press conference this time.

FlaMurph on November 16, 2012 at 11:45 PM

Kill all of them. The Mongols had it right.

iconoclast on November 16, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Retake Gaza and simply expel the population into Egypt. Let them merge with the mass of Egyptians who also hate Israel.

sharrukin on November 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM

Why now? Why did Hamas choose this moment to ramp up rocket attacks and try to bait Israel into a more extended confrontation?

November 6th gave them the go ahead. This is only the beginning, Iran and Egypt will soon join in, and Obama won’t lift a finger.

Norwegian on November 16, 2012 at 11:49 PM

@AJELive tweeted:
AJELive
Speaking to Al Jazeera, journalist Mohammed Omer is reporting that air strikes has hit the residence of the Palestinian Interior Min. #Gaza

5 mins ago from twitter.com by editor

http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on November 17, 2012 at 12:10 AM

F’kn,……Boink,Boink,Boink Boink,……hacker idiot
Anonymous jack-wagons…%$&*()_)(*&^%^&*()(*&^%^&*(

Haaretz.com ‏@haaretzcom

#Anonymous activists launch an attack on Israeli websites, defacing and disabling many http://htz.li/RXRC0S #Israel #Gaza #OpIsrael

https://twitter.com/haaretzcom

canopfor on November 17, 2012 at 12:30 AM

Propaghanda??????????????????????????

@JonDonnison tweeted:
JonDonnison
Reports of bodies trapped under rubble at house hit by IDF strikes in Jabalia in #Gaza. At least 3 killed. 30 injured including children

17 mins ago from twitter.com by editor

https://twitter.com/JonDonnison

canopfor on November 17, 2012 at 12:32 AM

Do not fear Isreal, you have the backing of the US and Obama! Okay, maybe not Obama nor the US, but at least it citizens I would think.

watertown on November 17, 2012 at 1:38 AM

Media’s NEW Mission:

“How Can We Clue The Terrorists Into Every One of Israel’s Moves, and GET AS MANY ISRAELI’S KILLED AS POSSIBLE?!!!!”

Brian Williams, Wolf Blitzer, Andrea Mitchell and Chis Matthews would SELL GUNS TO THE TERRORISTS, it they could……

williamg on November 17, 2012 at 1:53 AM

“And if Morsi pushes the Egyptian army into the war”Morsi hasn’t enough military horsepower to do any serious fighting for any length of time.

Israel has mobilized 70,000 reservists. If my memory is working, that is about 8 divisions. That is enough to fetch the Palis’ a first class butt whipping.

If I were Netanyahu, I would push all of the Palis’ out of Gaza and into Egypt. Then tell Morsi to deal with it.

Spots the Dog on November 17, 2012 at 5:51 AM

Israel goes after Teheran’s nukes by Xmas.

Maybe even this coming week.

The Gaza incursion looks like preemptive battle-space preparation.

Bruno Strozek on November 16, 2012 at 9:05 PM

I agree. If Israel is to withstand an Iranian response the first thing they need to do is clean out Gaza. There are probably some tactical sites in the West Bank that will need to be taken care of as well.

stefanite on November 17, 2012 at 7:35 AM

They gave up Gaza “for peace” and it’s been used as a base of operations against them by their enemies ever since. Take it back and keep it.

That’s why they took back the Golan Heights. They should do the same here.

predator on November 16, 2012 at 9:14 PM

So, whatever happened to that Palestinian state living peacefully side-by-side with Israel? (Or, as I like to call it: Firebase Ahmed.)

Barnestormer on November 17, 2012 at 8:27 AM

I hope the Israelis burn the Pali’s to the ground. The Egyptians come in, nuke them into dust.

All the Arabs want is the destruction of Israel. Anything they say to the contrary is nothing but lies designed to dupe the West. And the West, with feckless leader at the helm, is more than willing to play patsy.

Conservchik on November 17, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Why now? Why did Hamas choose this moment to ramp up rocket attacks and try to bait Israel into a more extended confrontation?

Israel can’t maintain an extended battle..they have a small population, with the people who are called up as reserves constituting the majority of the productive population. After a short time their economy is crippled. They must succeed rapidly or their economy is wounded for a long time, and this weakens them. Their enemies know this.

Mimzey on November 17, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Dresdenize Gaza. Wanna be nice? Drop flyers an hour before the bombs coming down and let the Palianimals know that this is the end.

Shy Guy on November 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Dresdenize Gaza. Wanna be nice? Drop flyers an hour before the bombs coming down and let the Palianimals know that this is the end.

Shy Guy on November 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

This.

CorporatePiggy on November 17, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Every time the media brings up complaints about bombing mosks and ‘government’ buildings someone needs to cite the Geneva Conventions.

If you militarize civilian structures or areas, they are legitimate targets.

Raze the place to the ground and send them back to Jordan where they belong.

CorporatePiggy on November 17, 2012 at 11:27 AM

canopfor
links at the ready, always — the HA linkmaster?
if we survive, come on down to TX for a visit, kindly extended
great, and sad stuff
7th century and sand/glass — well, that’s what they wanted?
be obliging Israel…

mickytx on November 17, 2012 at 2:02 PM

I’d love to see Israel taking over the Suez Canal. Then watch who squeals when radical islam rockets the ships in transit.

DaMav on November 17, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Comment pages: 1 2