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Mutual deterrence achieved between Israel, Gaza

For the first time in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Israeli establishment will have to think twice before it embarks on what used to be an “easy war” against the Palestinians.
Hamas militants display weapons as they celebrate what they say was a victory over Israel, in front of a destroyed house in the Shejaia neighborhood east of Gaza City August 27, 2014. An open-ended ceasefire in the Gaza war held on Wednesday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced strong criticism in Israel over a costly conflict with Palestinian militants in which no clear victor emerged. REUTERS/Majdi Fathi (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR440CH

The extremely harsh way in which Israel executed its war on Gaza had one basic goal: deterrence. Although Israel might have partially succeeded in its deterrence strategy, an unexpected result was born during the war: mutual deterrence.

The strong and continuous Palestinian rocket response to the Israeli aggression did not cease until the very last moment before each cease-fire announcement. Israeli expectations that Hamas and the other resistance groups would simply run out of rockets or voluntarily refrain from firing them never materialized. On the last day of the war, Hamas broadened its attacks, using a new, previously unused element in its arsenal. The rockets fired from the Gaza Strip up until that point had not contained warheads. When Israel escalated its bombardments by bringing down 13- and 14-story buildings, the Palestinian fighters notched up their attacks by adding warheads to their rockets.

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