Middle East Israel’s impossible condition for victory?

2 January 2009

Israel has set a very difficult goal in its war against Hamas: no more rockets to be fired from Gaza to southern Israel. At the moment, Israel aims to achieve this by weakening if not destroying Hamas, but at the same time expects Hamas or ideally its replacement to exercise strong enough control to ensure that ceasefire is observed. If Hamas survives this onslaught in one form or another and retains the ability to shoot rockets, even just one rocket, it can claim victory. Currently a popular uprising against Hamas looks unlikely and a ground invasion entails risk for Israel. International pressure on Israel to cease attacks on Gaza will grow stronger. Not only are the tenacity of Hamas and the grim ability and determination of the Gazans to absorb the casualties, but also the clock and almost unattainable objective may be against Israel in achieving victory in this war.