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Israel's dangerous game in Gaza

The Israeli government has an interest in Hamas staying in power in Gaza, but pressure on the organization from the Palestinian Authority and Egypt could lead it to provoke another war with Israel.
Palestinian Hamas militants attend the funeral of their comrade Ibraheem Abu Al-Naja in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa - RTX39MDV

Three years ago, in July 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge. Both Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza were drawn into an armed conflict against their will. The campaign turned into the largest round of warfare in the rancorous history of the Gaza Strip and the State of Israel, lasting 51 days, and ended in what Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amos Yadlin called an “asymmetric strategic tie.’’

Although Hamas took a severe beating, it succeeded in inflicting significant damage on Israel with rockets throughout the campaign. It even made Tel Aviv residents nervous, despite the Iron Dome missile defense system providing the city absolute protection. Hamas lost most of its tunnel system but was not defeated. It succeeded in surviving, at war's end still standing on its feet, having gone up against the strongest, most well-equipped and well-trained army in the Middle East. It had even forced the closure of Tel Aviv Ben Gurion international airport for 48 hours.

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