Quick Gaza War Update

January 23, 2009

As the one-week ceasefire in Gaza continues, analyses are coming from all sides.

An analysis from Kaveh L. Afrasiabi at Al Jazeera:

reflection of Israel's diplomatic isolation, in addition to being
condemned by the UN General Assembly in a near unanimous vote, Israel
could only count on the U.S. support at the UN Security Council, which
adopted Resolution 1860 calling for an immediate ceasefire and
withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

... In
fact, once the dust of this crisis settles, it will be abundantly clear
that Israel once again miscalculated the enemy's fighting ability and
resilience, as well as the nature of international response, for
despite a complete complicity by the U.S. media in presenting a
sanitized, pro-Israel version of the war, in the end Israel lost the
publicity war simply because of the egregious excesses of its overkill
in Gaza, causing waves of anti-war protests across Europe that, in
turn, forced the European leaders to relinquish their initial
pro-Israel stance in favor of a more even-handed and balanced approach.

The video above is the first in an hour-long, three-part series from Al Jazeera English called "Gaza in Ruins."

Here's an analysis from Ethan Bronner of the New York Times:

Israel is counting on the idea that with the heavy damage to
smuggler tunnels from Egypt and a mix of technology and policy to
prevent further smuggling, Hamas will not again become the scourge it
has been recently.

Still, the actual damage to Hamas appears to
have been limited partly because it acted so cautiously. There is irony
in this, that Israel, the state with the well-trained army, wildly
pressed the attack, while Hamas, the Islamist militia that supposedly
embraces death, shied from the fight.

The group was by all
accounts able to preserve a substantial portion of its force. Hundreds
of Hamas fighters were reported killed, but general estimates put the
entire force well into the thousands. Israeli military officials said
they saw very few fighters on the battlefield. They came out mostly in
ones and twos and only a few attempted suicide bombings.

Those who know Hamas in Gaza say this was carefully calculated.

Here's a series of shorts called "Inside Gaza" by Guardian filmmaker Clancy Chassay. These include a ride-along and look at Hamas' MO, the death of three militants in Gaza, and the launch of a rocket into Israel using Google Earth to sight targets.