The Iron Dome Saves Lives, but It Is No Solution to Hamas’s Attacks

The intense rocket bombardment that Israeli civilians suffered last week was a reminder that the technologically sophisticated missile-defense system known as the Iron Dome does not provide absolute protection: several houses were destroyed, and one person was killed. Moshe Arens argues that Jerusalem’s strategic calculations must take this fact into account. (Free registration may be required.)

Some rockets get through [the defenses], while others send residents of the country’s south scurrying into bomb shelters. That spells the end of normal life for those who live there, and can be achieved by the launching of a few hundred simple, cheap rockets. The last few weeks have demonstrated this conclusively. Also, the Iron Dome system can be saturated by the launching of a number of rockets at the same target, some of which get through. The bombardment overwhelms the interception system. . . . The tremendous difference in the cost of the simple rocket and the expensive system operated to intercept it also makes it financially unsustainable in the long run.

It is true [that] the Iron Dome saves lives. It has been argued that it provides the government with the time needed to discuss a response to an initial attack. But it does not solve the basic problem: protection of the civilian population in southern Israel. . . .

The only way to stop the launching of rockets at Israel’s civilian population is by physically eliminating the enemy’s capability of doing so. That can be achieved only by troops on the ground—through the entry of the Israel Defense Forces into the launching areas and the destruction of the manufacturing and storage facilities. The belief that terrorist organizations dedicated to destroying the state of Israel can be inveigled to abstain from attacking Israel has proven to be false and is not likely to be borne out in the long run. . . . So long as these organizations continue to rule there, nothing will change.

Read more at Haaretz

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Iron Dome, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security


Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security