Thursday, March 29, 2018

More on "Great Return March"

According to Hamas,this week  30,000 Hamas soldiers participated in “Steadfastness and Challenge”, a large-scale two-day military maneuver in the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas "military wing" is most certainly not a ragtag collection of amateur terrorists. They are both well equipped and well trained. And they benefit from the ongoing advice and support of professionals from Iran and elsewhere.

Bottom line: the last thing that Israeli decision makers should do is assume that Hamas has a transparent simple minded plan for the coming weeks.

The biggest fear?

Hamas is deploying troops to ostensibly prevent marchers from reaching Israel this Friday.

If the day passes with only minor incidents, Israeli decision makers may be lulled into doing what they almost always do:  assume that what happened today is going to repeat itself tomorrow.

Hamas troops defend our border? Fantastic.

Time to reinstate cancelled holiday leave.

And this goes on for a week. And another week.

So by the time we reach Israel Independence Day all the talking heads are discussing how we should reward Hamas and IDF preparations start winding down.

And then it happens.

A surge of tens of thousands towards Israel.

There could even be some Arab gunfire blamed on "radicals" trying to undermine Hamas. But then it happens.

After we quickly exhaust our non-lethal tools, we start shooting.

And those Hamas troops that have been deployed all this time on the line do the obvious:  start attacking Israeli forces.

And then? 

Suffice it to say that Hamas today has the men, equipment and training to do a lot more than just cross the line and murder some Israelis or drag back hostages.

It is sincerely hope that our security people have thought out of the box when considering what Hamas may do and how to prepare to foil these possible operations.

As for the obvious challenge of tens of thousands - or more - streaming over the line, here's one cynical but possibly critical observation:  the international consequences of killing 20 people or 2,000 is almost virtually identical.

The troops in the field need to be prepared to implement a devastatingly bloody "Plan B'  if sharpshooters neutralizing key leaders fail to halt the surging mob.

And that "Plan B" has got to be so ferociously effective that we will be able to honestly justify it for its efficacy.

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