In early May, some 40 top Israeli officials received the draft of a secret report by State Comptroller Joseph Shapira. The report focused on Operation Protective Edge, which jolted Israel out of its tranquility in the summer of 2014. Within a day, certain sections of the report were leaked to the press, instigating all-out warfare among the country’s political and military leadership. Everybody was attacking everyone else: The prime minister and the minister of defense lashed out against the state comptroller, members of the former Cabinet attacked members of the current Cabinet, generals challenged generals, and Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Liberman had harsh words for everyone. That is what happens when an enormous, well-trained and well-equipped army spends 51 days plodding along against a small and besieged terrorist group, which was still able to fire rockets at Tel Aviv up until the very last moments of the campaign.
It doesn’t help that all of this is happening at the same time everyone is wondering when the next round of violence will break out in Gaza. Exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas have started up again over the last two weeks, as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) makes significant progress in finding a solution to the attack tunnel problem. In the past few weeks alone, the new technology developed by the IDF was able to detect two tunnels that penetrated Israeli territory. Israel now believes that additional tunnels will be detected soon, denying Hamas its underground front. Until now, this was considered its leading strategic asset and the only advantage it had over the IDF’s capabilities. Given the current situation, there is concern that even though Hamas is far from regaining the strategic capabilities it had before Operation Protective Edge, circumstances could cause both sides in the conflict to descend into another round of fighting much earlier than originally anticipated, perhaps even this summer.