Friday, October 07, 2005

A serious shift in the Middle East?

Jerusalem Post, October 7

Following Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, Hamas sent a salvo of Kassam rockets at IDF troops in Sderot at the end of last month. In response, Sharon used targeted assassinations, massive arrests, and bombings of terrorist warehouses and workplaces, as well as firing artillery shells into empty spaces to convince the Palestinians to "cry uncle."

This tactic (certainly pertinent to our class discussion) seems to have worked. Mahmoud al-Zahar of Hamas called off operations against IDF troops. Hamas's operational capabilities seem to have been weakened. The Palestinian people have spoken out against Hamas. Abbas and the PA have incentive to crack down on terrorist activity to not appear weak. And Egypt has shown strong desire for Israel and Palestine to maintain the ceasefire and has also tried to make sure Islamic Jihad does so as well.

It seems to me that Israel's use of air power has been successful. Decapitation of Hamas, destroying infrastructure, civil unrest within the Palestinians, and risk aversion by the Palestinians all seem to have strengthened the Middle East peace process. Thoughts?

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