Who Won the Gaza War? Or Was It a Tie?

In Operation Protective Edge, Israel was able to achieve its goal of stopping rocket fire without a full-scale invasion of the Gaza strip, and without significant concessions to Hamas. Yet Hamas remains in power in Gaza and is no doubt planning its next war. In his summation of lessons learned from the conflict, Amos Yadlin, a former chief of military intelligence, considers who won, weighs the benefits and drawbacks of leaving Hamas in power, and ponders the IDF’s strategy for the next round:

The way in which the campaign was conducted countered Israel’s traditional security concept, which is based on deterrence, early warning, and decision. Israel’s overwhelming military power and the results of the previous conflicts did not deter Hams from initiating the recent offensive. There was no specific intelligence indication or strategic warning about the approaching conflict. . . . Likewise, in the conflict itself, Israel did not achieve a decisive victory. Clearly, it is not possible to apply the traditional security concept to every campaign or round of conflict, but it is important that it serve as a fundamental frame of reference for the Israeli defense leadership. . . .

Hamas in Gaza is neither a classic terrorist organization nor is it a normal state. If falls under a new definition of a hybrid organization that includes elements of the two configurations. Therefore, when fighting against it, it is necessary to apply all elements of the classic security doctrine as well as mission-specific elements of a war against non-state terrorist organizations.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza, Hamas, Israeli grand strategy, Israeli military, Protective Edge, Terrorism

In the Aftermath of a Deadly Attack, President Sisi Should Visit Israel

On June 3, an Egyptian policeman crossed the border into Israel and killed three soldiers. Jonathan Schanzer and Natalie Ecanow urge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to respond by visiting the Jewish state as a show of goodwill:

Such a dramatic gesture is not without precedent: in 1997, a Jordanian soldier opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls visiting the “Isle of Peace,” a parcel of farmland previously under Israeli jurisdiction that Jordan leased back to Israel as part of the Oslo peace process. In a remarkable display of humanity, King Hussein of Jordan, who had only three years earlier signed a peace agreement with Israel, traveled to the Jewish state to mourn with the families of the seven girls who died in the massacre.

That massacre unfolded as a diplomatic cold front descended on Jerusalem and Amman. . . . Yet a week later, Hussein flipped the script. “I feel as if I have lost a child of my own,” Hussein lamented. He told the parents of one of the victims that the tragedy “affects us all as members of one family.”

While security cooperation [between Cairo and Jerusalem] remains strong, the bilateral relationship is still rather frosty outside the military domain. True normalization between the two nations is elusive. A survey in 2021 found that only 8 percent of Egyptians support “business or sports contacts” with Israel. With a visit to Israel, Sisi can move beyond the cold pragmatism that largely defines Egyptian-Israeli relations and recast himself as a world figure ready to embrace his diplomatic partners as human beings. At a personal level, the Egyptian leader can win international acclaim for such a move rather than criticism for his country’s poor human-rights record.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: General Sisi, Israeli Security, Jordan