The people of both southern Israel and Gaza have had a difficult week, probably the most difficult since the end of Operation Protective Borders in 2014. A rocket attack rained down on the cities bordering the Gaza Strip. In the end, after forty-eight hours of clashes and political repercussions, who won this battle?
11 November in the evening: an Israeli commando tries to penetrate Gaza to carry out intelligence operations (according to Israeli sources). The operation failed and 7 Hamas militiamen and 1 IDF soldier lost their lives.
12 and 13 November: Hamas, in response to this attempt, fired more than 400 shells (rockets or mortars) into southern Israel. The Hebrew state responded by bombarding Gaza 150 times.
November 13th in the evening: Hamas and Israel, under the unofficial aegis of Egypt, signed a ceasefire that concluded these two days of hostilities.
What should be remembered?
In the outset, it should be recalled that the Gaza Strip has been suffering from a moribund economy for months. This reminder does not have humanitarian values but has a role to understanding events. Hamas responded to the attempted incursion of Israeli agents in order not to lose face with the people of Gaza. The latter, already in economic difficulties, probably does not want to know that Israeli spies can operate on their territory with impunity. Finally, Hamas acted in such a violent way not to further erodes its legitimacy with its “people”, which is already very weak due to the economic situation. A priori, this first element of analysis may suggest that the State of Israel has won, because it has pushed the Gazan political power to its limits. In addition, the strategic successes are clear: although no Hamas leaders have been killed, the official television building and one of the Islamist movement’s administrative headquarters have been destroyed. In less than two days, Israel succeeded militarily in depriving Hamas of its propaganda and an operational tool.
Politically, however, the consequences of this violence are terrible. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has resigned and the majority of Benjamin Netanyahu is weakened. The Prime Minister would therefore only have one seat in Parliament conferring a majority on him… This relatively slight outburst, resulting from a seemingly minor operational error, can be very costly for Israel: its Prime Minister.
In the end, Hamas lost militarily, but won politically.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator