- Give up tit-for-tat operations and switch to surprise attacks. Palestinian terror chiefs routinely head for bunkers before launching rockets and mortars.
- The IDF has no cause to boast about its “restraint” in the face of Palestinian attacks. Hamas sees it as a sign of weakness and a license to carry on within certain limits, i.e., only terrorizing the communities adjoining the Gaza Strip, not such towns as Ashkelon, Ashdod or Gedera.
- Enact a policy that distinguishes between the threat from Gaza and its distressed population. IDF officers maintain that the territory’s humanitarian crisis must be addressed as a precondition for solving the security issue. This recipe is muddled and will achieve neither objective. Each security issue should be addressed separately under the charge of an officer and team, in the same way that the IDF dealt with the terror tunnels.
- Israel can’t afford to be scared off from doing what is necessary for its citizens’ security by hostile criticism, whether from foreign sources, domestic media or local politicians claiming to speak for the Israeli Arab community. Hamas and the Palestinians at large have managed paradoxically to build up an image of both heroic aggressors and victims. Israel does not have that luxury.
- Hamas’ “March of Return” – the cover slogan for its escalating violence from the Gaza Strip – can be addressed. An Israel force could cross over in a single night and dismantle Hamas’ symbolic tent city, block the roads leading to it, plow up the ground, and head back. Israeli soldiers have no business to stay any longer in the Palestinian enclave.
- Because the Israeli air force goes into action only after Palestinian rocket, mortar or other form of aggression, the aircraft strike empty buildings. This tactic is futile except perhaps as training exercises for IAF pilots. Instead, the air strikes should systematically and without prior notice bomb the military infrastructure of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups in the same way that Israel engages Iranian facilities in Syria. Every couple of days, the IDF – and not just the air force – should smash a base, a convoy, an arms and ordinance depot, a command post, a training camp, or a foundry for producing rockets and other weapons. Only when Hamas understands that its command and operational backbone is being progressively demolished, will it grasp that Israel is seriously intent on obliterating it as a terrorist organization. Blowing up the terror tunnels achieved only half the job when Hamas’ other tools of aggression were left intact.
- The incendiary kites ravaging Israeli farm crops and woodland for the past month must be stopped forthwith. They have already turned thousands of dunams of crops and green vegetation into grey wasteland. Gady Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol District Council, one of the worst hit, urged the IDF on Sunday to start shooting at the individuals releasing the kites and destroy facilities producing them. The kite assault, often more damaging than rockets, should be treated as terror in every sense of the word, he said.
- The agents of Egyptian General Intelligence with responsibility for the Gaza Strip cannot be relied on for help in cracking down on Palestinian terror. Not just indifferent, they are not averse to seeing the IDF’s helplessness for dealing with Gazan violence. Instead of restraining the Palestinian rocket teams, when they happen, the Egyptians pack their bags and decamp to a safe distance, keeping an eye on events from Cairo or El-Arish.
- Some Israeli sources attached the blame for the latest round of rocket fire on Saturday night, June 2, to “rogue organizations” in Gaza. This is pure fantasy. Hamas is itself a rogue organization.
- As for the widespread call by many Israelis, including IDF officers, to relieve the hardships of the Gazan population, this would be more effectively addressed from a different perspective rather than tied in with the security challenge. It may be recalled that all Israeli efforts in the past to establish organized industry and farming sectors in Gaza were gutted by Hamas as “Zionist creations.” Since withdrawing from the territory in 2007, Israel is not responsible for its well-being which belongs to the Palestinian Authority based in Ramallah. If Israel nonetheless chooses to take part in the effort to improve the living conditions for two million distressed Gazans, the most effective way would be to establish an international mechanism with representatives from Europe and friendly Arab governments such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, as a conduit for assistance.
It would not be the first time. An Israeli-Qatari entity of this kind worked for a while before it broke down. In recent years, every time Israel has transferred essential products to Gaza for the general population, the fuel, building materials, fresh foodstuffs and medicines were impounded by Hamas officials and transferred to its armed wing, the Ezz-a-Din al-Qassam. Some were funneled to shops and sold for hard cash.