An analytical review of the next conflict in Israel, between Jews and Palestinians, from the military-political expert # 1 in Runet Boris Rozhin Сolonelcassad…
1. The conflict, which started with fights and attempts to evict the Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem, over the past 2 days has turned into a regime of missile and air strikes between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The tendencies for further escalation persist.
2. In the current realities, we can say that Netanyahu’s provocation achieved its goal, and the possibility of creating a coalition government without his participation, if not buried, is significantly hampered. The possibilities of involving Arab parties in the coalition have diminished significantly.
3. Iran is expected to avoid direct participation in the conflict, continuing to negotiate with the US on a nuclear deal. But at the same time, all the main proxies of Iran stated that they are ready to actively help Hamas if it asks Shiite groups for help on behalf of the Gaza Strip. If Hamas does this, then it, as one of the largest Sunni groups, will in fact admit that it cannot do without a Shiite roof. Thus, Iran, through its groupings, will achieve de facto recognition from the Palestinian radicals that it is Iran and the “Axis of Resistance” that are the main defenders of the Palestinians, and not Turkey or Saudi Arabia, which also claim or aspire to this role. Therefore, Iran has placed its pieces on the board and is waiting for a call for help from Hamas.
4. Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah and Yemeni Ansar Allah + some smaller groups have already announced their support for Hamas. Unlike Iran, Turkey makes many statements in support of Gaza, but in practice everything is limited to rhetoric and fantasies about Turkish flags in Jerusalem. But for the Islamic world, this is a fairly typical story that has been repeating itself for more than a decade. Most of the words of support for the Palestinians remain just words. The rallies against Israel in Turkey so far look rather like playing off a pair of public and religious discontent.
5. Erdogan, after a conversation with Putin, said that Moscow and Ankara have a similar position on Gaza and began to talk about the possibility of bringing peacekeepers into Palestine (alluding to Russian-Turkish troops), which at the current stage looks quite incredible. It is quite understandable that “Friend Recep” would like to get into the Palestinian case with the help of Russia, but I think Moscow is realistic about how Tel Aviv will react to such proposals.
6. Various countries have come out with condemnation of Israel, but in most cases all condemnation and will be limited (see recent stories with Kurds and Armenians). The US has officially backed Israel, but is also hinting at the need for de-escalation, as the conflict in Palestine creates difficulties for the Biden administration. For the Palestinians, left-wing factions of the Democratic Party, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, are harnessed. The Palestinians feel the conjuncture and constantly in their propaganda compare the actions of Israel with the actions of the police racists, and the Netanyahu regime with the Trump regime. A significant part of the democrats understands this rhetoric.
7. In Israel itself, yesterday there were mass riots and riots (burned out shops, restaurants, synagogues, etc.), with fights between Palestinians and Arabs, and in Lod the authorities completely lost control and troops had to be sent there. As it turned out, stories about interethnic peace between Arabs and Jews in Israel are very far from reality. The Palestinians call these outbursts of confrontation one of their moral and political victories, they say, the people do not give up and resist the occupation. The picture turned out to be what we need, and yesterday in Israeli social networks one could notice with the naked eye confusion and misunderstanding of how all this can happen.
8. From a military point of view, the conflict, despite the huge pyrotechnic effects, is still quite limited in its consequences – in Gaza in the morning, 43 killed (including 13 children) and 296 wounded were declared. This number has certainly increased over the past hours. Israel has 5 killed civilians + 2 soldiers and more than a hundred wounded It is worth noting that these are official figures, and both sides can distort their losses. On the one hand, these are dozens of human lives, on the other, with such a number of bombs and missiles, there could be many times more victims.
9. In terms of launches, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are working to overload the Iron Dome by launching a one-off mass of rockets that overload the system and enable some of the rockets to reach their target (even with mediocre accuracy). The damage of such hits is limited, but the stake is on the picture and the moral and political effect. As before, the main problematic moments of the Iron Dome, shortcomings in work at close range (which manifested itself in Ashkelon, where it was allegedly “malfunctioning”) and in the case of massive overload due to a large number of targets. Israeli experts wrote about these problematic points back in 2013. Despite the modernization of the system, these problems persisted in 2021. As a result, Hamas was able to create a picture where the Iron Dome is not as perfect as it was advertised. However, he is not the first one who got into such a situation – earlier this happened with advertising for “Armor” and “Patriot”. After all, a real war is different from propaganda and commercials. Iran, of course, is studying this experience, and it is worth remembering that its missiles are much more advanced and dangerous than those launched by Hamas. Of course, Israel will also draw conclusions from what happened and will probably be in the near future to refine the system or deploy additional batteries. So the competition between armor and projectile will continue – this is, to some extent, a working moment.
10. Up to 1,000 rockets of various types were allegedly fired from Gaza into Israel. According to various estimates, Israel’s air defense was able to shoot down from 70% to 85% of them. At the same time, the cost of an average missile from Gaza ranges from $ 300 to $ 400 (missiles with a range of more than 50 kilometers, obviously, are more expensive), while Israel spends interceptor missiles to destroy them, which in 2013 cost from 40 to 50 thousand dollars each (it is now claimed that Israel has managed to reduce the cost of these missiles by 1.5-2 times). Israel responds with missile and bomb strikes on Gaza, destroying both large high-rise buildings and small houses, police buildings and other infrastructure where, according to Israel, the leaders of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad may be hiding. The resumption of massive launches across Israel is scheduled for 18-00 today. The total number of strikes on Gaza, according to Israel, was 500, and this is only in the morning, and the strikes continue to this day.
11. Israel is also preparing for a ground operation, moving troops to the Gaza Strip, and conducting sweeps in Palestinian camps and neighborhoods. Carrying out an operation in Gaza in the midst of a fire inside the country is a very dubious undertaking, therefore, while the concentration of troops is underway (Israel may take 2 to 5 days for this), a sweep will be carried out in places of compact residence of Palestinians. The very invasion of Gaza could lead to a larger escalation if Iran makes its move and brings in its proxy forces, which in various aspects can support the Hamas resistance in Gaza.
12. Russia, as usual, takes the position of a peacekeeper and calls on the parties to de-escalate. There are few chances to take the place of an arbiter in this conflict. At the same time, Israel’s war with the proxy forces of Iran and the Palestinians can objectively be beneficial to Russia, since such a conflict will weaken both Israel and Iran, which will allow the Russian Federation to strengthen its positions in Syria. However, from the point of view of diplomacy, Russia will be guided by public calls for de-escalation, including at the UN Security Council platform. Where it is hardly possible to adopt a resolution condemning Israel (the United States will veto), but it is quite possible to adopt a certain declaration calling on both sides to cease fire and carry out de-escalation.
The opinion of the author may not coincide with the opinion of the editorial board. The author’s point of view is by no means anti-Semitism, as some of our readers try to present, acting on the principle: “You are not with us, which means you are against us.”