The IDF Operation in Jenin Is a Model of Ethical Warfare

Over the course of two days, Israeli forces last week entered the West Bank city of Jenin, where they killed twelve terrorists, arrested several others, confiscated weapons caches, and destroyed military installations and bomb factories. No civilians were killed. Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, comments:

That is a remarkable achievement unparalleled in any comparable campaign worldwide. . . . In most high-intensity operations in urban areas, even those conducted by Western armies who adhere strictly to the laws of war, more civilians than fighters are killed, sometimes in a ratio of three- or five-to-one. This is of course not deliberate but an unavoidable consequence of fighting an enemy among the population who themselves dress as civilians, occupy civilian buildings such as mosques, schools, and hospitals as bases of attack, and use innocent civilians as human shields.

Israel’s enemies in Gaza and the West Bank go further still, using tactics that deliberately try to lure the IDF to kill their own citizens. You might wonder why any force that sets itself up as protectors of its people would do that. It is because they know they can never defeat or severely damage the IDF on the battlefield, and they can rely unfailingly on journalists, academics, international bodies, and activists to blame Israel for these deaths, leading to vilification, condemnation, and isolation.

In this situation it is quite remarkable that the IDF was able to avoid killing any civilians at all. I doubt any other army would be able to achieve that.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: IDF, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Laws of war, Military ethics


Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy