We are now in the 8th day of this war. Like the previous Gaza wars the army has led the population of Israel to believe that this is the war to end all wars, or at least the Hamas will suffer such serious setbacks, thanks to Israel’s constant bombing of strategic targets in Gaza, that it will take them many years to recover, during which time we’ll have peace and quiet from Gaza. This war, like the previous wars, started with air bombardments and in my opinion it will end, like previous wars in ground forces marching into Gaza to occupy territory.
I don’t think that victory in war is possible without the conquest of territory. The enemy will not plead for Israel to stop bombing as long as the people of Gaza are in possession of their territory. The only way I know for a war to come to an end is when the enemy has lost territory and the only way to take away territory is by ground forces.
We have seen Hamas firing more that 2600 rockets into Israel, but we haven’t seen Hamas soldiers trying to conquer Israeli territory. This means that they aren’t interested in victory. They are only interested in killing Israelis. If they were interested in victory against Israel, in order to conquer Jerusalem, as they claim they would have sent ground forces into Israel to do the job.
To the best of my knowledge Hamas doesn’t even possess any tanks or troop carriers or cannons and other equipment needed for a ground attack to conquer territory.
The Israeli military is aware of this. They are also aware that Hamas’ entire effort has been devoted to building underground hideaways and tunnels. This can have only one purpose and that is to protect their troops from bombs saving them for the day when Israel will decide to thrust into Gaza with tanks, cannons and ground troops.
As long as Israel keeps up the bombardment those soldiers will remain well hidden. Bombardment might succeed in reaching those underground hiding places but will never succeed in destroying all of them.
The thing that will destroy the Hamas underground army is starvation and exhaustion. Israel must keep up the bombardment, and so effectively keep food and medical supplies out of reach of the troops hiding underground, but this would take a long time.
Perhaps the Israel military is prepared for a long siege of the Gaza army, and I think we have learned to wait in Israel, but if it wants to get the job done in a hurry they will have to attack with troops and tanks.