According to Hamas,this week 30,000 Hamas soldiers participated in
“Steadfastness and Challenge”, a large-scale two-day military maneuver in
the Gaza Strip.
The Hamas “military wing” is most certainly not a ragtag collection of
They are both well equipped and well trained.
And they benefit from the ongoing advice and support of professionals from
Iran and elsewhere.
Bottom line: the last thing that Israeli decision makers should do is assume
that Hamas has a transparent simple minded plan for the coming weeks.
My biggest fear?
Hamas is deploying troops to ostensibly prevent marchers from reaching
Israel this Friday.
If the day passes with only minor incidents, Israeli decision makers may be
lulled into doing what they almost always do: assume that what happened
today is going to repeat itself tomorrow.
Hamas troops defend our border?
Time to reinstate cancelled holiday leave.
And this goes on for a week.
And another week.
So by the time we reach Israel Independence Day all the talking heads are
discussing how we should reward Hamas and IDF preparations start winding
And then it happens.
A surge of tens of thousands towards Israel.
There could even be some Arab gunfire blamed on “radicals” trying to
But then it happens.
After we quickly exhaust our non-lethal tools, we start shooting.
And those Hamas troops that have been deployed all this time on the line do
the obvious: start attacking Israeli forces.
I don’t want to speculate here.
Suffice it to say that Hamas today has the men, equipment and training to do
a lot more than just cross the line and murder some Israelis or drag back
I sincerely hope that our security people have thought out of the box when
considering what Hamas may do and how to prepare to foil these possible
As for the obvious challenge of tens of thousands – or more – streaming over
the line, here’s one cynical but possibly critical observation: the
international consequences of killing 20 people or 2,000 is almost virtually
The troops in the field need to be prepared to implement a devastatingly
bloody “Plan B’ if sharpshooters neutralizing key leaders fail to halt the
And that “Plan B” has got to be so ferociously effective that we will be
able to honestly justify it by citing its efficacy.