‘Clear and Decisive Win’: Why Netanyahu Needs a War on Gaza More Than Ever Before

Media reports of an impending Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip are now a regular occurrence. The frequency of these reports fluctuates based on Israel’s own political landscape.Empirical experience has taught us that when Israeli leaders are in trouble, they wage a war on Gaza. Now that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing the greatest challenge in his political career, Gaza is bracing for another Israeli war.The war rumors are no longer just that. Rightwing Israeli newspaper, The Jerusalem Post recently reported that Israel’s military chief of staff, Lieutenant-General Aviv Kochavi, “has already approved operational combat plans and recently set up an administrative unit to handle the formation of a list of potential targets in the coastal enclave for when the next war breaks out.” READ: Cartoonist slams Guardian’s refusal to publish Netanyahu cartoon     The Post’s own military correspondent, Anna Ahronheim concurs, that, indeed, war on Gaza “is not far away.” But unlike previous wars, the upcoming war must “have a clear and decisive win” by Israel so that “the other side will think twice about going to war in the future.”The fallacy in Ahronheim’s analysis is obvious. Israel always approaches its wars in Gaza with the aim of having a “clear and decisive win”, aims that are often thwarted by strong Palestinian resistance in the besieged and impoverished Strip.Second, Gaza never initiates wars. The Strip has no army or military strategy beyond self-defense tactics carried out by organized resistance factions, including Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and various PLO groups. However, if Israel thinks that a ‘decisive win’ would eradicate Palestinian resistance, it will be greatly disappointed. Gaza’s resistance, in all of its forms, against Israel and Israeli occupation goes back to the late 1940s. No amount of firepower will ever end this kind of determined resistance.However, it is likely that Israel measures the decisiveness of its ‘victory’ based on the amount of destruction it is able to inflict on Palestinians. READ: Netanyahu vows never to dismantle illegal Israel settlements Marvel at these numbers from the last major Israeli war on Gaza, in 2014, to understand the real target of Israeli wars on the Strip:According to United Nations figures, more than 2,300 Palestinians were killed in Israel’s so-called “Operation Protective Edge”. The causalities, most of whom were civilians, included 551 children. Moreover, 11,231 were also wounded, and more than 20,000 homes were destroyed. The massive destruction was also aimed at the already ailing infrastructure of impoverished Gaza, reaching schools, hospitals, mosques and even UN shelters.How more “decisive” must the next Israeli war be so that Israel’s warmongers may feel satisfied that their war achieved its intended objectives?Israel wants Palestinians to accept their perpetual besiegement, embrace their fate as an occupied nation with no ...Read more

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