Did Israel Weaken Hamas? The 2014 Gaza War
by Efraim Inbar
http://www.meforum.org/5080/did-israel-weaken-hamas

Following the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West
Bank and a continuous barrage of Hamas rockets on Israeli towns and
villages, the government of Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on
July 8, 2014, mostly in the form of air strikes on Hamas targets. On July
17, a limited ground incursion commenced to locate and destroy tunnels into
Israel, coming to a close on August 5. Having either rejected or violated
numerous ceasefires, on August 26, Hamas finally accepted an Egyptian
ceasefire proposal (originally made on July 15). The operation lasted fifty
days and was longer than all previous rounds of violence in Gaza.

What were the operation’s strategic rationale and goals? How has it affected
Israel’s international standing, its negotiations with the Palestinians, and
regional deterrent posture? Above all, who actually won the war?

The Strategic Rationale

By the twenty-first century, Israel’s leaders had reached the conclusion
that the country was involved in an intractable conflict with part of the
Arab world, particularly with non-state organizations driven by religious
extremism. Most Israelis are keenly aware of their inability to affect the
motivation of the non-state actors such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and
Hezbollah to fight the Jewish state; they understand full well the
impracticality of attempting to defeat extreme ideologies by force of arms.
The non-state organizations are a persevering and uncompromising enemy, bent
on destroying the Jewish state, and there is nothing Jerusalem can do to
lessen this motivation. Thus, Israeli leaders refrain from using military
strength to strive for “victory” or for an end to the conflict. Jerusalem
does not expect peace or integration with its neighbors. It merely wants to
be left alone.

Although Israelis understand that there is no simple way to deter highly
motivated organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas, the Israel Defense Forces
(IDF), nevertheless, use force to degrade their enemies’ military
capabilities and thus diminish the damage they can inflict. In Israel’s
military parlance, this is “mowing the grass” of its enemies’ abilities,
without any pretensions to solving the conflict.[1] Moreover, Jerusalem is
trying to gain a modicum of deterrence in order to extend the quiet between
rounds of violence. Periods of calm are important for Israel; its very
existence portrays a victory to extremist, non-state enemies and constantly
reminds them that their destruction plans are unattainable. Extending the
periods of calm along the borders will lessen the cost of this protracted
conflict for Israel. Ironically, the patient, attritional approach of
Israeli military action is a mirror image of the Arabs’ persevering
“resistance” (muqawama) strategy. Israel’s large-scale operations in Gaza of
December 2008-January 2009 (Cast Lead) and November 2012 (Pillar of Defense)
were conducted with this strategic rationale.

The Operation’s Objectives

During the summer of 2014, Hamas found itself in a difficult position,
primarily due to the fall of President Muhammad Morsi in Egypt in July 2013
and his replacement by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, elected president in May
2014. Viewing Hamas as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and hence an
arch enemy, the new regime joined Israel in cutting its supply routes to
Gaza.[2] As a result, Hamas chose to rock the boat by attacking Israel in
the hope of breaking Gaza’s isolation. Specifically, it demanded
reconstruction of the Rafah airport, construction of a seaport, and
unrestricted traffic between Gaza and the West Bank.

Jerusalem reacted with Operation Protective Edge to force Hamas to stop the
rocket and missile attacks and to thwart its political goals in accordance
with a strategy of attrition and limited political objectives: “gaining
quiet on Israel’s border with Gaza” and “quiet will be met with quiet.”[3]
The government did not speak in terms of toppling Hamas or returning Gaza to
Israel’s control, despite some proponents within the cabinet of this course
of action. These voices became more prominent as Hamas refused to cease its
bombardment. Yet, while the IDF is perfectly capable of these alternatives,
toppling Hamas and reoccupying Gaza could easily incur a prohibitive human
cost. In addition, it was not likely that Jerusalem would garner support
from the international community, especially the United States, for a
lengthy operation of this kind. Nevertheless, if Hamas renews its fire
against Israel, there may be no other recourse but to recapture the entire
Gaza Strip so as to destroy its military potential and to gain a long period
of calm.

Hamas is deeply entrenched in Palestinian society and draws considerable
support from the Palestinian public. Surveys conducted among Palestinians
prior to Operation Protective Edge showed 35 percent support in both the
West Bank and Gaza with even greater support in the Strip alone. Hamas’s
civilian arm provides many services for the Gaza population, and Gazans feel
gratitude toward the organization. Noteworthy as well, Hamas won both the
2005 municipal elections and the 2006 parliamentary elections. All this
indicates widespread support for Hamas on the Palestinian street. Moreover,
the military arm’s violent struggle against Israel is highly popular,
despite its heavy cost for the Gaza population. In December 2014, an
overwhelming majority of 77 percent supported rocket and missile attacks on
Israel if the siege and blockade was not ended.[4] Public opinion surveys
conducted in the wake of the operation showed support for Hamas among the
Palestinians at a higher level than ever.[5] Unfortunately, many
Palestinians are not encouraged to strive for peace but rather to sacrifice
their lives and become martyrs in a holy war against the Jewish state.

Despite Hamas’s uncompromising nature, the Israeli government desired a
weakened regime to rule over Gaza. The separation of Gaza from the West Bank
serves Israeli interests by weakening the national Palestinian movement,
which remains a bitter enemy of Israel into the foreseeable future. Mahmoud
Abbas’ September 2014 address to the U.N. General Assembly is clear proof of
that.[6] Even as the Palestinian Authority (PA) asks the United Nations to
recognize Palestinian independence, it continues to teach hatred for Israel
and to make demands that jeopardize its own existence.

Criticism of the operation’s aims was also voiced by the Israeli Left and
the international community. Some called for the ending of Hamas rule and
the return of Gaza to the PA with IDF assistance. This could seemingly
revive the two-state solution paradigm. But it is unclear whether Abbas is
willing or capable of taking control of Gaza even if the IDF cleared the
way. Indeed, apart from the nominal so-called unity government of June 2014,
the PA has shown no interest in such a scenario. Neither the PA nor the
government of Israel appears to want any part in running Gaza.

The proposal to hand Gaza to the PA also demonstrates forgetfulness of the
failed Israeli attempts to determine the leadership of its Arab neighbors,
such as the 1982 Lebanon war and the “village associations” with the West
Bank Palestinians. Influencing political dynamics in the surrounding Arab
states is simply beyond Jerusalem’s abilities. Even the powerful United
States has repeatedly failed to do this. Moreover, favoring particular
candidates for power in an Arab entity will always have a boomerang effect
since Israel’s support erodes their legitimacy. Pragmatic cooperation with
Israel is not the way to popularity in the Arab world.

The International Arena

Garnering international support for an operation against Hamas in Gaza was
high on the Israeli list of priorities. The conduct of the Israeli
government reflected this priority with its forbearing attitude and
willingness to accept all proposed ceasefires. Political coordination with
Egypt also served this aim, especially vis-Ã -vis the Arab states.

The majority of the international community supported Israel’s right to
self-defense. Part of the international credit was thanks to Jerusalem’s
readiness to accept every ceasefire and partly due to the somewhat reserved
U.S. support. Despite international criticism of the supposed use of
disproportionate force, generated by images of destruction from Gaza, Israel
was able to operate militarily for fifty days. This is a considerable feat.

The regional political alignment was also convenient for Israel. There was
conspicuous restraint among conservative Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi
Arabia, Jordan, and the Persian Gulf monarchies (excluding Qatar), all of
which were keen to see Hamas hit hard. It was also clear that these states
shared common strategic interests with Israel as was the case during the
2008-09 fighting in Gaza (Operation Cast Lead). Like Israel, these states
also consider Iran a major threat, especially its nuclear aspirations. The
phenomenon of the so-called Islamic State, the extremist Islamist
organization that has conquered parts of Syria and Iraq and proclaimed a
caliphate, has brought the moderate states even closer together. The
strategic partnership between Israel and these Arab states is a bright point
among the regional shambles left by the Arab uprisings.

Israel considered Egypt’s involvement of paramount importance in arranging a
settlement that would bring the Gaza campaign to an end and in goading Hamas
into a ceasefire that basically ignored most of the terrorist organization’s
demands. This insistence strengthened the ties between Israel and Egypt—the
most important Arab state.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration did not appear to have a real grasp
of the Middle East reality. Before the war, Washington had expressed support
for the Hamas-PA national unity government. This lent additional legitimacy
to Hamas, strengthening the widespread impression that the Obama
administration favored the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas’s parent organization)
and further alienating key Arab states, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
These two and the smaller Persian Gulf states were already suspicious of
U.S. policy following years of unsuccessful negotiations with Iran over its
nuclear program, the misplaced U.S. trust in Turkey’s Islamist regime, and
the inexplicable support for Egypt’s short-lived Muslim Brotherhood regime.
As such, Washington’s approach toward Hamas became yet another component in
the Obama administration’s failed Middle East policy.[7]

The strains between Washington and Cairo following the ousting of the Muslim
Brotherhood were in stark contrast to the close cooperation between Israel
and Egypt regarding Hamas.[8] Washington failed to grasp the seminal
significance of Egypt in the Gaza equation and, for a time, ignored its
proposed ceasefire and endeavored to promote the mediation initiative of
Qatar and Turkey, both Hamas supporters. The U.S. administration believed
that these two states could influence Hamas, neglecting the fact that Cairo
had historically been a rival of Ankara in regional affairs and had a
particularly tense relationship with Turkey’s controlling Islamist Justice
and Development Party (AKP).

During the Gaza war, disagreements arose between Jerusalem and Washington,
underscoring the complexity of the bilateral relationship during the Obama
administration. U.S. officials expressed concern about the effects of
Israel’s use of force while the Israelis resisted the U.S. intention to make
Turkey and Qatar sponsors of a ceasefire. Highlighting the strains, a Wall
Street Journal story about delays in transferring helicopter Hellfire
missiles[9] referred to a scheduled delivery of missiles that Israel merely
wished to expedite. With the delay, Washington signaled its disapproval of
Israeli actions, but the operational implications were marginal. It is also
important to note that the delayed arms shipment consisted of arms other
than the Hellfire missiles. Unfortunately, the negative publicity
surrounding the strains in U.S.-Israeli relations has had a detrimental
effect on Israel’s international reputation and, particularly, on its
regional status.

Still, the U.S. unwillingness to transfer ammunition during the fighting
sent a shock wave through the Israeli defense establishment. In the wake of
this incident, the defense establishment is reconsidering joint U.S.-Israeli
projects in which weapons are manufactured in the United States with U.S.
aid funding. It is expected that in the future, Israel will increase its
local production of sensitive arms to prevent a repeat of the summer’s
events. Another consequence of the delays is Israeli reexamination of its
domestically manufactured ammunition supplies.[10]

Nevertheless, defense relations of the closest kind continue between Israel
and the United States. Washington swiftly approved further funding for
another Iron Dome missile defense battery and even opened its war reserve
stockpile in Israel to assist the IDF with its ammunition shortage. And yet,
publicity surrounding the strain harmed Israel and motivated Hamas to
persist in its rejection of a ceasefire. Some friction with Washington on
the Palestinian issue is inevitable due to differences over its importance
and how it should be managed. In the Israeli view, Washington tends to
exaggerate both the regional implications of Palestinian-Israeli peace and
the chances for its achievement.[11]

It is noteworthy that great powers such as China, India, and Russia showed
understanding toward Israel’s situation while many other states were
relieved to see the fighting draw to a close so that they could continue
their “business as usual” with Israel. Despite exaggerated fears of
international isolation among certain circles in Israel following the
fighting in Gaza, Jerusalem’s international status has remained strong, and
its economic ties with the world are unaffected by the conflict with the
Palestinians.[12]

Discontent with Israel’s actions in Gaza was voiced by the usual suspects:
human rights organizations, U.N. institutions, and some third world
countries. Several West European countries hosted anti-Israel marches, and
anti-Semitic sentiments surfaced in an unprecedented manner.[13] A number of
Latin American states, including Brazil, recalled their ambassadors.[14] The
U.N. Human Rights Council’s decision to appoint a commission of inquiry on
war crimes will likely lead to a “Goldstone II” report, which could inflict
political damage on Israel.

War coverage by the international media was biased in favor of the
Palestinians. Media reports on the alleged disproportionate use of force are
the result of Hamas’s manipulation and demonstrate a poor understanding of
what happens during war. It should be noted, however, that both the BBC and
The New York Times ran articles that questioned the data supplied by Hamas
on the number and identity of their fatalities.[15] Among the slightly more
than 2,000 fatalities, half were identified by Israel as Hamas operatives,
which amounted to a ratio of one to one collateral damage—much better than
the U.S. record in Iraq or Afghanistan.

On the other hand, one positive outcome of the war was the idea of
“demilitarization in exchange for reconstruction,” accepted by such
international actors as the United States, the European Union, and even the
U.N. The main motive for introducing demilitarization is to pave the way for
the return of Gaza to the PA and, perhaps, the internationalization of the
conflict that will give the Europeans a say in the Israeli-Palestinian
arena. Yet, Hamas will balk at any attempt to force it to part with its
weapons. Historically, full demilitarization was always applied to the
defeated side. But while Hamas has been considerably weakened by Israel, it
was by no means defeated. Thus, the demand for Hamas’s peaceful disarmament
is unrealistic. Nevertheless, the international agreement on the
demilitarization of Gaza—a key element in the 1990s Oslo accords—erodes
Hamas’s legitimacy to use force against Israel. Moreover, this idea
legitimizes efforts by Israel to monitor supplies entering Gaza and to use
force for defense purposes.

Several suggestions are being raised for the involvement of international
actors and U.N. forces in advancing demilitarization, but Israel has had a
dismal experience with such experiments. All the international peacekeeping
mechanisms and forces in the Arab-Israeli arena have invariably proven
ineffective. For example, there is the failure since 2006 of the U.N. force
in South Lebanon (UNIFIL) to prevent rockets from reaching Hezbollah. In
Gaza, after only one year at the Rafah crossing, European observers took to
their heels at the first sign of danger. U.N. units in the Golan Heights
(UNDOF) have now also retreated when faced with hostile activity. The
international force in Sinai, which monitors the demilitarization clauses of
the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, has no mandate to fight Islamist
terrorists in the peninsula. This force became largely superfluous when
Israel agreed to the upgrading of Egyptian forces in Sinai to enhance
counterterrorist capabilities. Israel simply cannot count on others to
ensure its safety.

Israeli Deterrence

The government of Israel demonstrated caution in avoiding the use of massive
force, which is commendable in a democracy that cares for the wellbeing of
its citizens and soldiers. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was correct in
predicting that such restraint would gain Israel international legitimacy as
well as contribute to domestic national consensus. However, it remains to be
seen whether such conduct eroded Israeli deterrence by delivering a message
of weakness and hesitancy as the readiness to fight, determination, and
uncompromising courage are the building stones of deterrence.

The image of Israel merely reacting to Hamas’s moves, waiting each time
until the last minute to see whether the terror group would oblige and
extend the ceasefire, is not conducive to Israeli deterrence. Likewise,
Hamas’s lengthy refusal to accept a ceasefire shows that the 2014 Gaza
operation did not exact a sufficiently painful cost to expedite an
agreement. Nor does Hamas’s claim that it withstood the Israeli military
might for fifty days serve Israeli deterrence. Indeed, the fighting was much
longer than the IDF had anticipated.[16] Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, who served
as southern command chief in the Gaza war, said earlier in 2011, “We will do
everything to shorten the duration of the campaign and will conduct a fast,
lethal ground maneuver.”[17]

It is important to remember that deterrence depends on military might but
also on the willingness to employ force. Restrictions placed on the IDF for
fear of international public reaction, such as avoidance of extensive
targeting of multi-story buildings and mosques that served as Hamas
strategic facilities and launching pads, may be read as weakness and impair
deterrence. Perhaps escalation should have begun earlier in the war. On the
other hand, Israel’s ability to target the heads of Hamas’s military branch,
the severe level of destruction in parts of Gaza, and the IDF’s capacity to
collect real-time intelligence and attack swiftly, may contribute to
deterrence. But leaving Hamas in control of Gaza conflicts with the aim of
creating long-term deterrence. In light of all this, the contribution of the
2014 offensive to Israeli deterrence is inconclusive and will have to be
examined over time.

The War’s Effect on Negotiations

There is no sign of Hamas moderating its position toward Israel. Hamas’s
positions, and even that of the Palestine Liberation Organization, do not
show any inclination to make a historical compromise with Jerusalem. The
government of Israel still stands behind its statement that the Palestinian
unity government is not a worthy partner for peace talks. Thus, the war did
not directly affect the slim chances for advancing negotiations.

This realization has not permeated sufficiently into the Israeli political
leadership since part of the political echelon is still caught up with the
concept of a “two-state solution.” Another part of society pays lip service
to this formula despite understanding that it is impractical so long as the
Palestinians reject Israel’s right to exist; nevertheless, this group thinks
that it is worth pursuing in order to manage the conflict rationally. Only
the political extremes from Right and Left prefer other formulae and are
ready to declare the “two-state solution” defunct. Yet, it is possible that
the Gaza operation will constitute a stage in a long educational process by
the Palestinians that Israel’s existence is a fact and cannot be eradicated
and that a high cost will be exacted for engaging the country in a
protracted, violent conflict.

By contrast, the international community still cleaves rather obsessively to
the “two-state solution” as panacea. The Pavlovian response to war is that
increased efforts are necessary to solve the conflict between Israel and the
Palestinians. And yet, the difficulties in moving the “peace process”
forward and crises in other places around the world may divert attention
from this conflict and leave Israelis and Palestinians to continue spilling
each other’s blood. The Gaza war certainly clarifies that the two societies
have reserves of energy and have not yet tired of fighting. At the end of
the day, ethno-religious conflicts of the sort Israel is involved in usually
are concluded once the societies involved reach a point of fatigue. That has
not yet occurred.

The Domestic Arena

Operation Protective Edge was perceived by Israelis as both necessary and
justifiable. The sense that there is no choice is an important condition in
preserving national fortitude in an intractable, protracted conflict. The
unprecedented efforts by the IDF to maintain its “purity of arms” or
morality in warfare code also neutralized to a great extent criticism of the
Israeli use of force from abroad and in extreme circles in Israel.

The achievements of the Iron Dome system contributed significantly to the
ability of the home front to function almost normally—except for the
Gaza-border residents, who were also exposed to mortar fire for which no
appropriate defensive response was found. Moreover, for these residents, the
failure to address Hamas’s tunnels effectively severely detracted from their
sense of security and trust in the government. It could be that preparing
differently for the tunnel challenge might have entirely prevented the need
for a ground campaign or at least would have required a less complicated
operation.

Despite sweeping support in Israel for the military action against Hamas,
the results left Israelis troubled. It is no small matter to accept that the
conflict cannot be resolved and that another round of fighting is just
around the corner. Nevertheless, surveys show that Israelis have
internalized this reality and, during the war, displayed extraordinary
fortitude and solidarity. Turning the protracted conflict into a tolerable
routine constitutes a major challenge for Israeli society.

The domestic, political impact of the Gaza war will depend predominantly on
the duration of the period of calm attained in its aftermath. The longer it
lasts, the better it will be for Israel. If deterrence does not work and
Hamas decides to challenge the government by firing into Israel, it may very
well be that Jerusalem may be forced to “mow the grass” once again and all
the more forcefully. This option is likely to gain much support from the
Israeli public.

Conclusion

As long as the Palestinians do not transform their goals, the conflict will
not be resolved, only managed. Israel will continue to live by the sword and
to “mow the grass” as needed. In Operation Protective Edge, Jerusalem set
out once again to destroy Hamas’s military capabilities with the
understanding that it is engaged in an intractable, protracted conflict
requiring a strategy of attrition.

Ultimately, this objective was achieved. One third of Hamas’s rocket and
missile stockpile and most of its rocket-manufacturing infrastructure were
destroyed. Most of its thirty-two attack tunnels were likely destroyed,[18]
and about 1,000 Hamas combatants, including some high-level leaders, were
killed.[19] It could be that more targeted killings and an earlier relaxing
of the restraints on airpower could have expedited the acceptance of the
ceasefire by Hamas and thus avoided much of the destruction in the Strip.

A major achievement by Hamas was the closure of the Ben-Gurion airport for a
short time (due to a human error by Iron Dome operators). Moreover, the
civilian population within the range of mortars and near the attack tunnels
was shaken, and its resilience was questioned as some residents left the
region.

Nevertheless, it is clear that Hamas lost this campaign. The unlimited
ceasefire, as demanded by Israel and Egypt, constitutes a precondition to
future negotiations and was formulated without the involvement of Qatar and
Turkey. All the crossings into the Gaza Strip will continue to be under
Israeli and Egyptian control, which will constrain Hamas’s ability to rearm.
Egypt even forced Hamas to agree to a PA presence at the Rafah crossing. All
of Hamas’s “victory speeches” cannot change the fact that, ultimately, it
succumbed unconditionally to Egyptian-Israeli pressure.[20]

Any evaluation of Protective Edge must consider the cost for Israel. The
Iron Dome system neutralized practically all rockets and missiles fired at
Israeli population centers. The majority of the country suffered only
marginally although the alarm sirens did have a negative psychological
effect. The public’s display of self-discipline reduced loss of life, but,
nevertheless, there were seventy-two fatalities (including more than sixty
soldiers) and hundreds of wounded. Limited damage was incurred, mostly to
property in the Gaza envelope. The direct and indirect costs of the war,
amounting to several billion dollars, are tolerable for the strong Israeli
economy.

Israel’s public diplomacy must adopt the concept of demilitarization and
prepare a plan for promoting the idea. The goal is to make it as difficult
as possible for Hamas (without toppling the organization) to acquire
weaponry. Israeli diplomats must also contemplate how to check the onslaught
against Israel in the field of international law.

Following the Gaza war, the IDF must rethink its operational mode. There are
many areas of operation to be commended, such as technological superiority
and fighting spirit among soldiers and commanders on the ground.
Investigation of all these issues is underway in all corners of the Middle
East, not just in Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The 2012 Pillar of Defense and 2009 Cast Lead operations in Gaza, as well as
the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, were launched to regain deterrence. All of
them restored calm, marked by a continuing low level of attacks, but also
engendered legal and political attacks in the international arena. So far,
the 2014 military operation has achieved the same results, but no one can
predict for how long the calm will last.

 

http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=66745

 
================

Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic
Studies, is professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and a
Shilman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

[1] Efraim Inbar and Eitan Shamir, “Mowing the Grass: Israel’s Strategy for
Protracted Intractable Conflict,” Journal of Strategic Studies, Feb. 2014,
pp. 65-90

[2] Yoni Ben-Menachem, “Egyptian President al-Sisi vs. Hamas,” Jerusalem
Center for Public Affairs, Dec. 17, 2014.

[3] The Jerusalem Post, July 8, 2014.

[4] Palestinian Public Opinion Poll, no. 54, Palestinian Center for Policy
and Survey Research, Ramallah, Dec. 3-6, 2014.

[5] Special Gaza War Poll, Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey
Research, Ramallah, Aug. 26-30, 2014

[6] Mahmoud Abbas, speech to United Nations General Assembly, Palestine News
and Information Agency, Ramallah, Sept. 26, 2014.

[7] Eytan Gilboa, “The United States and the Arab Spring,” in Efraim Inbar,
ed., The Arab Spring, Democracy and Security: Domestic and International
Ramifications (London: Routledge, 2014), pp. 51-74.

[8] Daniel C. Kurtzer, “Can the Egyptian-American Relationship Be
‘Reinvented?'” The American Interest, Apr. 8, 2014.

[9] The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 14, 2014.

[10] Author interview with senior Israeli official, Tel Aviv, Sept. 7, 2014.

[11] Jonathan Rynhold, The Arab-Israeli Conflict in American Political
Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), chaps. 2-3; Dan
Kurtzer and Scott Lasensky, Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: American
Leadership in the Middle East (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of
Peace, 2008).

[12] Eugene Kontorovich, “Isolation and the Elections,” Israel Hayom (Tel
Aviv), Dec. 11, 2014; The Jerusalem Post, Dec. 18, 2014, Jan. 7, 2015.

[13] See, for example, The Telegraph (London), July 26, 2014.

[14] Haaretz (Tel Aviv), July 29, 2014.

[15] See, for example, The New York Times, Aug. 5, 2014.

[16] Moshe Yaalon, lecture, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Ramat
Gan, Sept. 29, 2014.

[17] Israel Defense (Kfar Saba), Sept. 18, 2014.

[18] “Operation ‘Protective Edge’: A Detailed Summary of Events,”
International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya, July 12, 2014;The
Jerusalem Post, July 16, 2014.

[19] “Operation ‘Protective Edge.'”

[20] Ehud Yaari, “Hamas Searches for a New Strategy,” Policy Notes, no. 19,
Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Oct. 2014; Yoni Ben-Menachem,
“Internal Hamas Debate about Rethinking Policies,” Jerusalem Center for
Public Affairs, Nov. 30, 2014.

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