Once again, so it seems, Israel failed to evaluate Hamas properly. During the past few days of Operation Protective Edge, the political echelon approved emergency call-up orders for more than 40,000 reservists, and thousands of troops massed around the Gaza Strip on standby, waiting for orders to begin a ground offensive. Now, however, voices in Israel are telling the public that Hamas has already suffered a mortal blow. The public is told that the organization is browbeaten and desperately searching for some victory image it will never obtain. It is told that the Israeli air force has already done most of the work.
Representatives of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman’s office, battalion and unit commanders and even the army’s chief of intelligence have all briefed Israeli journalists. They provided them with data and numbers that were clearly intended to impress them, and to make it clear to the Israeli public that there was no reason to get mired down in the Gaza quagmire — or in plain language, in any military action on the ground.