One of my previous essays in ‘IndiaOpines’ about Palestinian Israel Conflict I’d concluded with the adage – “With the humility comes wisdom, with pride comes disgrace.” Now the bloody nose retreat of Israel proved that adage true again. Several ceasefires between Israel and the Gaza Strip’s Hamas had failed to take hold earlier and quickly collapsed.
Now it seems to a truce that might last for some longer duration– may be weeks and months, may be a year or two. Initially, this ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is supposed to go for at least three days in the Gaza Strip. During the 72-hour truce, Israel and Hamas are going to hold indirect talks in Cairo on a broader deal that would prevent future cross-border violence.
As expected, the Israeli military issued a statement claiming that all its ground troops will pulled out of Gaza quickly. In fact, Lt Col Peter Lerner said the withdrawal will be completed by the 8am deadline to cease hostilities. He also claimed that the withdrawal was going forward after Israel completed the destruction of 32 cross-border tunnels meant to allow Islamic militants to carry out attacks against Israel.
So, the latest cycle of violence is completing again after the loss of 1,900 Palestinian lives – most of them civilians and 67 Israelis dead.
By any stretch of imagination, it was not even a remote victory for Israel. It has been actually a moral and battle-field defeat for Israel as Hamas had captured Lieutenant Hadar Goldin who probably died with his captors in heavy Israeli barrages. Though, with U.S. backing, and world looking the other side, Israel kept claiming that with or without a truce its forces would pursue their main mission of hunting tunnels used by Hamas for several cross-border attacks.
What actually followed was PM Benjamin Netanyahu had called his cabinet into special session to discuss Goldin’s suspected capture in the southern town of Rafah. He had also warned Hamas that Palestinian guerrillas would “bear the consequences of their actions”.
But it was only a posture. An internal investigation had revealed Israel’s inability to communicate with Hamas on ground. The warmongers of Israel had very fresh the memory also the prisoner swap of 2011 where Israel was compelled to release more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, a soldier snatched by Hamas five years earlier.
History refused to keep mum. Many years ago, Mr. Ehud Barak, the most decorated war hero on Israel’s history, the elected Prime Minister of Israel was asked to pack up after the resounding defeat slapped by Hizballah. Israel was forced to compromise its strategic assets, deterrence power and moral authority. Israel had to pay a heavy price for its humiliating withdrawal in its dealings with Hizballah.
The SLA (South Lebanon Army) was Israel’s strategic partner in Lebanon. However, as Israel army pulled out of front lines areas under intense Hizballah fire, the South Lebanon army (SLA), which for 22 years had held off the Hizballah fighters with Israeli help , collapsed and fled. Hizballah immediately occupied the abandoned positions. Israeli prime Minister had to order an expeditious immediate evacuation. It was accomplished under the cover of darkness leaving Israeli military equipment behind. Many SLA soldiers were caught and others surrendered.
Perception of power is a vital tool of survival in the Middle East. With its defeat at the hands of Iran’s ally Hizballah, Israel no longer enjoys the clout and reputation of an undefeated , invincible , proud army it was earlier. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War also, it had lost everything till America came to its rescue and Israel got time to recover and win back.
Now the Israeli government has weakened further and the false hype created around the ‘Iron Dome’ is exposed. Israel’s deterrence power proved to be just a myth. Hamas rockets fell and caused considerable moral, material damage and tolled for human loves.
World has now realized that Hamas was trained and supplied the know how to develop the short spaced on- the- spot assembling Fajr-5 missiles that reached Tel Aviv by Iran. One of the senior Iranian Official publicly proclaimed -“We haven’t sent any weapons to Gaza because it is under blockade. But we are honoured to announce that we gave them the technology of how to make Fajr-5 missiles and now they have their hands on plenty of them.”
Regardless of CNN or BBC partial cover-up of Israel defeat, Hamas had successfully fired Fajr-5 missile at Tel Aviv, second most populous city of Israel. The Speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani bluntly accepted that Tehran’s support for Palestinians had military dimensions. “We are honoured that our help has material and military aspects, and these Arab countries that sit and hold meetings should know that the nation of Palestine does not need words or meetings. Our message is that if Arab countries want to help the nation of Palestine they should give military assistance.”
So, it was neither the destruction of tunnels nor a tactical truce of humanitarian gesture as Israel claims. It was the unknown penetration of Fars-5 and latest version of ancient tunnel technology adopted by Hamas that that forcee Israel of cut and run to minimize it loses.
According the military experts, the world class Fajr-5 is a solid fuel, non-fixed wing, 333mm rocket designed and optimised for artillery missions to hit enemy’s command and control, logistic, radar, communication, economic and political centers. It is a rocket with 75km range, a payload of 178kg and speed of 1,009 metres per second.
So, now it is anyone’s guess who is the ultimate winner and loser in this latest deadly flareup.
By: Naim Naqvi