The U.S. Must Let Israel Get the Job Done

Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken came to Israel and met both with Prime Minister Netanyahu and with the war cabinet. Blinken brought a number of demands to Jerusalem about postwar planning, the need to create a Palestinian state, and “the importance of avoiding further civilian harm and protecting civilian infrastructure in Gaza.” Meir Ben-Shabbat explains the problem with such requests:

The Biden administration understands full well the importance of achieving a resounding victory over Hamas in Gaza. It would like Israel to get it done quickly. However, it has been asking many things from Israel—and by doing so it has only prolonged the path to victory and has been imposing a burden on Israeli shoulders.

Washington has been pressuring Israel to scale back the fighting, significantly increase the scope of humanitarian aid (knowing that most of it reaches Hamas), and launch a process with the UN(!) that will allow the return of the residents of northern Gaza to their homes. All this only exacerbates the operational challenges facing [Israel’s] forces. It also provides a backwind for Hamas by having its leaders hope that they will be able to drag Israel into a war of attrition that will end in an “arrangement.”

What’s more, the administration’s demands also make it harder to secure the release of the captives by alleviating the pressure on Hamas and allowing it to harden its stance.

Israel must end this war with a resounding victory. . . . Reaching this goal serves the interest not only of Israel and most of its neighbors but also of the U.S.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Israeli Security, U.S.-Israel relationship


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security