Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The recurring question. Is Gaza legally occupied by Israel? No.

...In short, anyone who claims Israel occupies Gaza is making an argument that no one has ever made in respect to occupation anywhere else in the world. It proves yet again that when it comes to Israel, the very definitions of words are uniquely different for Israel.

Elder of Ziyon..
29 July '14..

A number of so-called "fact checks" have been written that claim (among other things) that Israel legally occupies Gaza.

This is a topic I have discussed many times, so here are the highlights.

The Hague Conventions definition of 1907 is the only legal definition of occupation. That's it. The Fourth Geneva Conventions does not define it at all.

And here it is:

Art. 42. Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army.

The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.

Amnesty International expanded on this definition when the US invaded Iraq:

The sole criterion for deciding the applicability of the law on belligerent occupation is drawn from facts: the de facto effective control of territory by foreign armed forces coupled with the possibility to enforce their decisions, and the de facto absence of a national governmental authority in effective control. If these conditions are met for a given area, the law on belligerent occupation applies. Even though the objective of the military campaign may not be to control territory, the sole presence of such forces in a controlling position renders applicable the law protecting the inhabitants. The occupying power cannot avoid its responsibilities as long as a national government is not in a position to carry out its normal tasks.

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Darkening clouds this side of Gaza

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
28 July '14..




For Israelis, the disturbing signs of an armed terrorist insurrection emerging from multiple quarters among the Arabs who shares our cities, hospitals and buses - the non-Gaza Arabs - are mounting and becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. A small and random selection:

A Mahmoud Abbas speech signals preparations for war

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas ended a speech about the current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza with a quote from the Quran justifying war. His Fatah party interpreted Abbas' statement to mean that fighting against Israel is justified on religious Islamic grounds: "[PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] concluded his brief speech with the first verse of the Quran that permits Muslims to wage war for Allah." [Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page", July 22, 2014] [Source: Palestinian Media Watch | July 24, 2014]

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Why It Gets Personal - Kerry v. Israel

...On Iran, Syria, and Russia, Kerry has done little to advance U.S. interests or to protect human rights. But with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he has done worse than that. Having set the region up for conflict, he is now doing everything possible to ensure that the violence will continue at some point in the future by allowing Hamas to survive and even claim victory. Seen from that perspective, his good intentions and the insults being thrown his way from Israelis are mere footnotes to a historic legacy of failure.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
28 July '14..

The Obama administration is fuming about the anger in Israel about Secretary of State John Kerry’s bumbling efforts to negotiate a cease-fire in Gaza. But while senior U.S. officials are claiming the attacks on Kerry from Israelis across the political spectrum puts the relationship between the two countries in jeopardy, the change in tune today from Kerry in his statements about the goals of negotiations illustrated just how deep is the hole that he has dug for himself and the United States in the current crisis.

After delivering demands to Israel that amounted to an American surrender to Hamas, in a speech delivered this morning Kerry said that “demilitarization” of Gaza was a necessary element of hopes for peace. He’s right about that, but after seeking to hamstring Israeli efforts to halt Hamas rocket fire and to eliminate the tunnel network they use to store their arsenal and to launch cross-border attacks on Israeli targets, the umbrage that administration figures are expressing about the reaction to the secretary’s behavior is unjustified.

The fact that it has become personal between Kerry and Israel does neither country any good and that is why even though the anger in the Jewish state at the secretary was universal, Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., rightly sought to disassociate his government from any personal attacks on Kerry today. But as with previous tiffs in which the administration expressed anger about criticism of the secretary, the focus on defending Kerry’s honor or good intentions is beside the point. Though he continues to pose as the tireless worker for peace that is being unfairly targeted for his even-handed approach, it’s time to realize that Kerry actually deserves a not inconsiderable share of the blame for the situation.

Even if we are to credit Kerry, as Dermer suggests, for his good intentions, the secretary deserves every bit of the opprobrium that has been leveled at him by Israelis from the right to the left.

Kerry’s disastrous intervention in the current fighting demonstrated the utter and complete incoherence of the position that he has carved out for the United States. On the one hand, Kerry has prioritized the effort to create a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But by seeking to save Hamas by granting it concessions in the form of open borders rather than forcing the demilitarization that he belatedly endorsed, Kerry is making such a peace deal impossible.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hamas"s raison-d"être is war on Jews

...The West needs to understand that there is no compromise with Hamas short of it being disarmed, overthrown and replaced by a more responsible government. As long as Hamas rules Gaza, peace between Israel and the Palestinians will be no more than a short interlude between wars. Permanent peace will remain as elusive as a trail of rocket smoke.

Bataween..
Point of No Return..
28 July '14..

In spite of saturation press and media coverage of the Gaza conflict, rarely are Hamas's objectives put in historical perspective. Hamas are not Palestinian nationalists but Islamists. Governments and pundits talk about the need for an end to violence and a 'diplomatic solution ': sit down and talk. But Hamas, an acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement, simply does not have a negotiating position, short of the annihilation of Israel and the subjugation of Jews to Muslim rule, as per its Charter.

Even the UK Hamas representative Azzam Tamimi makes clear that Hamas does not want a truce in order to aspire to a more peaceful life for Gazans, whom it cynically exploits as victims and human shields. He admits that Hamas only wants Israel to capitulate to its pre-conditions. Hamas would then steal a march over Fatah by appearing to be the only Palestinian force which could gain concessions from Israel - and so be better placed to wage the next war, or intifada.

Hamas is the local Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Its ideology has two dominant features: Islamic imperialism and extreme hatred for Jews, routinely broadcasting calls for genocide. Thus it shares certain characteristics with ISIS, the jihadist terrorist army sweeping across Syria and Iraq, and Boko Haram, who are terrorising northern Nigeria and kidnapping Christian schoolgirls.

Founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, a teacher, the Muslim Brotherhood was directly inspired by the rise of Nazism, as well as Mohammed's campaign against the Jewish tribes of Arabia in the Koran. By the late 1940s the German-funded Brotherhood's membership had rocketed - if you'll forgive the pun - from 800 to 500,000. The movement only ever targeted the Jews and other non-Muslims - and more specifically, the Jews of Egypt.

This campaign was set off by the 1936 uprising in Palestine directed against Jewish immigration and initiated by the notorious Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. Between 1936 and 1938 the Brotherhood organized mass demonstrations in Egyptian cities under the slogans "Down With the Jews!" and "Jews Get Out of Egypt and Palestine!" Leaflets called for a boycott of Jewish goods and shops. The Brotherhood's newspaper, al-Nadhir, carried a regular column on "The Danger of the Jews of Egypt," which published the names and addresses of Jewish businessmen and (allegedly) Jewish newspaper publishers all over the world - attributing every evil, from communism to brothels, to the "Jewish danger."

Exactly why does Israel supply Gaza with electricity and cement?

"The notion that a Belligerent Party in wartime is duty bound to supply electricity and fuel to its enemy is plainly absurd.”

Dr. Emmanuel Navon..
i24news.com..
23 July '14..

When my children ask me why Israel supplies Hamas with the cement and electricity used to build tunnels for the storage of rockets and the kidnapping of Israelis, I refer them to an unforgettable scene from the movie Ice Age 4. In it, terrified prehistoric animals flee the apocalypse but two of them keep laughing. “Doesn’t it weigh on you?” asks a puzzled co-traveler, “that the world might be ending?” Trying to give a serious answer, the two merry fellows reveal their secret: “We are very, very stupid.”

Is Israel just being stupid, or does it have a legal obligation to supply the Gaza Strip with cement and electricity? As explained by Prof. Avi Bell from Bar-Ilan University in a recent paper published by the Kohelet Policy Forum, a think-tank, Israel is under no legal obligation to provide Gaza with electricity.

Article 23 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states, inter alia, that the contracting parties shall allow the free passage of food, clothing and medicine to children under 15 and to pregnant women (the article mentions neither electricity nor cement). The Gaza Strip is not a contracting party to that Convention, nor is it occupied by Israel. Israel, for its part, is not a party to the First Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1977, whose Article 70 imposes wider duties upon belligerents (though it doesn’t mention electricity and cement, either). Even if these articles were to apply to the conflict between Israel and Gaza, Israel would still be under no obligation to supply electricity to Gaza because the parties are required “to allow the free passage” of goods (Article 23) and to “allow and facilitate” their “rapid and unimpeded passage” (Article 70) - but not to supply them.

On the specific issue of electricity, targeting electric plants during wartime is a widespread and accepted practice. How can a country be allowed to destroy its enemy’s electric supply but be required to guarantee that supply? This is why Prof. Yoram Dinstein, a renowned expert on international law and on the laws of war, writes in his book "The Law of Belligerent Occupation:"

"The notion that a Belligerent Party in wartime is duty bound to supply electricity and fuel to its enemy is plainly absurd.”

Scoring an Own Goal, ‘The Biggest Political Mistake of the War So Far’

...That single FAA decision did more than any political argument ever could to ensure that Israel won’t be leaving the West Bank anytime soon. Having long argued that such a withdrawal would be untenably dangerous, I’m certainly not sorry. But for the Obama administration, it was definitely an own goal.

Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
27 July '14..

On Friday, the always perceptive Walter Russell Mead termed the FAA’s decision to suspend flights to Israel last week “the biggest political mistake of the war so far.” Mead was referring to the decision’s impact on a cease-fire, but it actually has far larger political implications. In one fell swoop, it destroyed the main diplomatic return the Obama Administration hoped to earn on its years of generous support for the Iron Dome anti-missile system: increased Israeli willingness to withdraw from the West Bank.

While Congress’s motive in supporting Iron Dome was mainly to save Israeli lives, the Obama administration always had an additional motive: countering Israeli fears that ceding the West Bank would lead to “rockets from Nablus, Ramallah and Jenin onto Ben-Gurion Airport,” as Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon put it, just as leaving Gaza resulted in massive rocket fire on Israel’s south. If Iron Dome could protect Israel from rocket fire, the argument went, then Israel needn’t fear a West Bank withdrawal.

Until last week, that argument might have had a chance: True, Hamas was sending rocket barrages all over Israel and forcing Israelis into shelters several times a day, but the combination of Iron Dome and civil defense measures kept Israeli casualties negligible.

Last week, however, Israelis learned that even Iron Dome can’t keep their main airport open when their neighbors are launching rockets at it. No anti-missile system is foolproof, and one intentionally missed rocket proved enough for most of the world to suspend flights to Israel.

As Mead correctly noted, the discovery that Hamas’s rockets can threaten its main transportation link to the outside world makes it much harder for Israel to end the fighting without eliminating Hamas’s rocket capabilities. But it also makes it much harder for Israel to quit the West Bank as long as there’s any chance of it turning into a rocket launching pad like Gaza has.

The vast majority of Israel’s foreign investment and trade comes from the West, and Israel’s geographic distance from the West means this commerce depends on aerial traffic. With its airport shuttered, investors can’t come in and time-sensitive exports can’t go out. Thus Israel simply cannot afford to have its air links with the West at the mercy of a terrorist organization. Its economy wouldn’t survive.

What's scarcer than a photo of a dead Hamas gunman in Gaza?

...Headline: "In pictures: heartache as Gazans return to their flattened homes" Heartache? We're supposed to see the gunmen, along with their invisible close associates the rocket-men, as victims? Our sympathy is being demanded?

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
27 July '14..

A photo of a live Hamas gunman in Gaza:

From a photo essay in the UAE news site The National, today [Image Source]

For anyone who cares about the integrity of the news organizations who are supposed to deliver comprehensible objective coverage of what is happening in and from Gaza, there's a question that is rarely articulated: where are the images of Hamas gunmen, alive or dead?

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

John Kerry, the Gaza Terrorist Government and the Betrayal

...Whether through ineptitude, malice, or both, Kerry’s intervention was not a case of America’s top diplomat coming to our region to help ensure, through astute negotiation, the protection of a key ally. This was a betrayal.


David Horovitz..
Times of Israel..
27 July '14..

When The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff first reported the content of John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal on Friday afternoon, I wondered if something had gotten lost in translation. It seemed inconceivable that the American secretary of state would have drafted an initiative that, as a priority, did not require the dismantling of Hamas’s rocket arsenal and network of tunnels dug under the Israeli border. Yet the reported text did not address these issues at all, nor call for the demilitarization of Gaza.

It seemed inconceivable that the secretary’s initiative would specify the need to address Hamas’s demands for a lifting of the siege of Gaza, as though Hamas were a legitimate injured party acting in the interests of the people of Gaza — rather than the terror group that violently seized control of the Strip in 2007, diverted Gaza’s resources to its war effort against Israel, and could be relied upon to exploit any lifting of the “siege” in order to import yet more devastating weaponry with which to kill Israelis.

Israel and the US are meant to be allies; the US is meant to be committed to the protection of Israel in this most ruthless of neighborhoods; together, the US and Israel are meant to be trying to marginalize the murderous Islamic extremism that threatens the free world. Yet here was the top US diplomat appearing to accommodate a vicious terrorist organization bent on Israel’s destruction, with a formula that would leave Hamas better equipped to achieve that goal.

The appalled response to the Kerry proposal by the members of the security cabinet on Friday night, however, made plain nothing had gotten lost in translation at all. The secretary’s proposal managed to unite Israel’s disparate group of key political leaders — from Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Liberman on the right, through Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni on the center-left — in a unanimous response of horrified rejection and leaked castigation.

The Netanyahu government has had no shortage of run-ins with Kerry in the mere 18 months he has held office. The prime minister publicly pleaded with him in November not to sign the interim deal with Iran on its rogue nuclear program, and there has been constant friction between the two governments over thwarting Iran’s bid for the bomb. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in January ridiculed Kerry’s security proposals for a West Bank withdrawal, calling the secretary “messianic” and obsessive” in his quest for an accord with the Palestinians that simply wasn’t there. The collapse of the talks in March-April was accompanied by allegations from Jerusalem that Kerry had botched the process, telling Israel one thing and the Palestinian Authority another, including misrepresenting Israel’s position on Palestinian prisoner releases.

But none of those episodes, though deeply troubling and relating to issues central to Israel’s well-being, provoked the kind of outraged disbelief at Kerry’s performance that has been emanating from the Israeli leadership in the past 48 hours. Leaked comments from unnamed senior government sources to Army Radio, Channel 2 and other Hebrew outlets have described the secretary as amateurish, incompetent, incapable of understanding the material he is dealing with — in short, a blithering fool.

But actually, it’s worse than that. What emerges from Kerry’s self-initiated ceasefire mission — Israel had already accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal; and nobody asked him to come out on a trip he prefaced with sneering remarks about Israel’s attempted “pinpoint” strikes on Hamas terror targets — is that Jerusalem now regards him as duplicitous and dangerous.

Dear Aba and Ema, ...‘I can’t imagine myself living in another place’

A letter from an IDF reservist to his parents.

Shmuel Adler..
Op-Ed Contributor/JPost..
27 July '14..




Dear Aba and Ema,

After two weeks in miluim (reserve duty), so much has happened and I want to share with you some of my thoughts.

A phone call from a blocked number, I know there’s a chance I’m going to be called to reserve duty, I decide to continue working, maybe it’s a mistake, but my phone rings again and again so I answer.

“Shalom, this is a recorded message. If you are Shmuel Adler please press 1, please press your military identity number. Your unit is called up for duty and you must arrive as soon as possible in the war-time reserve unit.”

I hang up, look around me. I need to call Daffy, Daffy will be fine on her own, Shaked will learn so much while I’m away, 37 unread messages from work, I need to oil the front door because it’s squeaking, I need to fill up our dog Bamboo’s food. Who’s going to lead the community meeting tonight? I need to cancel meetings.

I go to the storage room in our caravan, my army equipment was packed and stored just three months ago. I take out a few things, look for a few things around the storage room and the house, toothbrush, towel, Tallit and Tefillin, some dates and raisins.

Daffy comes home and gives me a big hug.

“You have to go pick up Shaked now, you can’t leave without saying goodbye.”

I pick her up, how do I explain to her where I’m going. She repeats my words like always: “Aba holech miluim (Dad is going on reserve duty).” We have lunch together, Daffy takes out of the freezer a chocolate yeast cake, my favorite, picks a book and brings a roll of toilet paper from the bathroom and puts all of them on my back pack. That’s exactly what I will be missing in the next few weeks. How did she know? I look at Daffy and Shaked. I love them so much, why do I have to leave them? When will I see them again, will something happen to me in combat? I hold Daffy, give her a kiss, bend down to Shaked, ask her if she can give me a big hug and a kiss, of course she agrees, she understand that I’m going and that Daffy and I are a bit sad. I try to get a long hug but Shaked had enough so I give her another kiss, give Daffy another kiss, say goodbye, get in the car. Just before I drive away, I look at Daffy’s eyes. She can read my eyes easily, and I don’t need to tell her what I’m thinking. I’m on the way.

All the way to the unit I hear on the radio that there’s missiles falling all over. I suddenly understand that there are sirens right around where I am but I continue driving like nothing is wrong. Even when I pull over for a bathroom stop, I hear a missile fall but I continue driving. I need to get to the unit as soon as possible.

Everyone’s very calm in the unit. We all know what we have to do, where we get our fighting equipment and gun. There’s no food so we order a few pizzas from a nearby town and while we’re eating them, we see the amazing Iron Dome shooting down a few missiles that were shot from Gaza.

We get our orders toward the evening and go to the post we were positioned at. We get up early, go down to the firing range to calibrate our rifles. It turns out that you don’t forget how to shoot a rifle, I’m focused and my hits on the target are very good. The brigade commander explains why we’re here, what we are about to do and what’s the situation in the area. Each company departs to its post and replaces regular service soldiers that will go down to Gaza.

Helping Hamas get away with war crimes

...What is disturbing is that foreign journalists did not bother (or dare) to ask any of the Hamas leaders and self-proclaimed spokesmen whether they were hiding inside the hospital, regardless of what the answer would doubtless be. They apparently did not even ask themselves this question. One foreign journalist explained that asking such a question would have "endangered my life." Another admitted over coffee that he and his colleagues were too scared to report news that would anger Hamas and other radical groups. "We know that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields," the reporter, who asked not to be identified, said. "But why would you report this when you are sitting in the middle of the Gaza Strip, surrounded by Hamas gunmen?"

Bassam Tawil..
Gatestone Institute..
27 July '14..

Hamas and its Palestinian and Western propagandists continue to insist that the Islamist movement does not use civilians in the Gaza Strip as human shields during war. But the truth is that Hamas itself has admitted that it does use innocent civilians as human shields, to increase the number of casualties and defame Israel in the eyes of the international community.

This admission, however, has, of course, gone unnoticed by most Western journalists and analysts reporting on the war in the Gaza Strip. Many Western journalists in the Gaza Strip choose to ignore the fact that Hamas is forcing civilians to serve as human shields. They also seem to ignore the fact that senior Hamas officials and militiamen have found shelter among civilians and in hospitals, especially Gaza City's Shifa Hospital. Is it really a coincidence that Hamas spokesmen gave interviews to the Arab and Western media from the premises of Shifa Hospital? Why hasn't anyone even noted it as odd?

Of course, the Hamas spokesmen, to attract the attention of the media, pretend that they are visiting the wounded in the hospital, but in reality, these Hamas spokesmen have been staying inside the hospital, bearing in mind -- even certain -- that Israel would not target such a sensitive site.

What is disturbing is that foreign journalists did not bother (or dare) to ask any of the Hamas leaders and self-proclaimed spokesmen whether they were hiding inside the hospital, regardless of what the answer would doubtless be. They apparently did not even ask themselves this question. .

One foreign journalist explained that asking such a question would have "endangered my life." Another admitted over coffee that he and his colleagues were too scared to report news that would anger Hamas and other radical groups.

"We know that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields," the reporter, who asked not to be identified, said. "But why would you report this when you are sitting in the middle of the Gaza Strip, surrounded by Hamas gunmen?"

On July 22, Hamas and Palestinian "resistance" groups issued a warning to residents of the Gaza Strip to remain indoors after 11pm. The warning, which was also ignored by most journalists, was published on several Hamas-affiliated web sites

So here is Hamas, literally imposing a curfew on the residents of the Gaza Strip, in the hope that they will be killed or wounded by Israel. But this, as far as the international media is concerned, is a story that is obviously not worth reporting,

For Hamas insiders it's all worth it

...Not for the first time, it's evident that the death and mayhem that results from Islamist hatred and jihad has cash at its heart.

Hamas insiders at 2012 Gaza rally: Things
have been working out surprisingly 
well
for them; 
not so great for ordinary Gazans
[
Image Source]
Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
27 July '14..

An analytical piece with the improbable title "Meet the Hamas billionaires" appeared in Israel's main business newspaper, Globes, on July 24, 2014. It takes a close look at the extraordinary phenomenon of

how much the Hamas leaders, the Arab world's new tycoons, are worth, and how they, born and raised in refugee camps, who raise aloft the cause of their people's welfare, have become so wealthy and reclusive.

Authored by Ella Levy-Weinrib, it is largely based on original research by Dr. Moshe Elad of the Western Galilee Academic College in Acre. His career in the IDF included three decades of senior positions in Judea and Samaria.

Elad's thesis is that the founders of the Hamas terrorist organization accumulated phenomenal personal wealth from tapping into Islamic charitable sources. These initially came from Syria and Saudi Arabia. At a later stage, Iran took a major role that today has been eclipsed by the stupendously-wealthy rulers of Qatar.

He tracks the rise of the personal fortunes of several key Hamas figures.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hamas, Hezbollah and the Underground War on Israel

...“Hassan Nasrallah says Hezbollah has a two-part operational plan,” says Shimon Shapira. “One is rocket fire on Tel Aviv and two is conquest of the Galilee. I wondered what he meant by that—how is Hezbollah going to invade the Galilee, take hostages, capture villages, and overrun military installations? But we’re learning from what is happening now. Nasrallah means Hezbollah is going to penetrate Israel through tunnels.”

Lee Smith..
Weekly Stand Magazine..
Vol. 19/No. 44
04 August '14

During the first two weeks of the Gaza conflict, Hamas landed at least two significant punches. In firing missiles at Ben Gurion Airport, Hamas convinced the Federal Aviation Authority and European air carriers to temporarily suspend flights to Israel. The fact that relatively primitive rockets falling far short of their targets are nonetheless capable of at least briefly severing an advanced Western democracy with a leading tech economy from the rest of the world is a psychological blow. But perhaps the even greater concern for Israeli officials is the revelation of Hamas’s extensive tunnel network.

Until Operation Protective Edge, it was generally assumed that Gaza’s tunnel system was simply a feeding tube for a community of 1.8 million people. With both the Egyptian and Israeli borders closed, as well as Israel’s naval blockade, goods entered Gaza mainly through the tunnels from Egypt. So did weapons, including missiles made or designed by Iran, which, as the last two weeks have shown, are capable of reaching any site in Israel. The tunnel economy flourished under former Egyptian president and Hamas sponsor Mohamed Morsi but has suffered under his successor, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has won praise from Jerusalem for shutting down as many tunnels as he can find.

However, there is another system in Gaza as well, a network of attack tunnels that end not in Egypt but in Israel, where over the last two weeks Hamas commandos have attempted several terrorist operations.

“Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that we are not under siege, we are imposing a siege,” says retired IDF officer Jonathan Halevi, now a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. “What he meant was that [Hamas] can use tunnels as a strategic weapon. If you multiply tunnels, you can use them to send hundreds of fighters into Israel and create havoc, totally under cover. According to Hamas, the tunnels have changed the balance of power.”

Israeli officials have expressed amazement at the extent of the tunnel network. “Food, accommodations, storage, resupply,” one astonished official told reporters last week. “Beneath Gaza,” he explained, there’s “another terror city.” That is, Hamas’s tunnel network is evidence of a military doctrine, both a countermeasure to Israel’s clear air superiority and an offensive capability that threatens to take ground combat inside Israel itself, targeting villages, cities, and civilians as well as soldiers. Israel perhaps should not have been surprised to discover the size and seriousness of Hamas’s tunnel network because they’ve seen something similar before, in the aftermath of the 2006 war with Hezbollah. And indeed it was Iran’s long arm in Lebanon that helped build Hamas’s tunnels.