Thursday, January 08, 2009

'Hamas Is Not Hizbollah'

Now Israel has hit a UN convoy - which destroys their credibility about being 'surgial' or 'only targeting the terrorists'. So I had been wondering if Hamas wanted the ground war, that perhaps that had a plan to give Israel an asymmetric kicking. So far there has only been a little evidence of this. Now another bit emerges;

Major Roey Rosner, 27, an officer in the Kfir infantry brigade, was killed when his unit was hit with an anti-tank missile while on patrol in the former settlement of Netzarim.

This is of note because Hamas didn't have anti-tank missiles before. Along with the longer range rockets, they clearly have better kit now. However are they going to use it well? Some commentators seem to think the view I have suggested is over-egging the pudding at bit and I they both seem to know much more than me, I would suspect they are right. First up is Robert Fisk;

During the second Palestinian "intifada", I was sitting in the offices of Hizbollah's Al-Manar television station in Beirut, watching news footage of a militiaman's funeral in Gaza. The television showed hordes of Hamas and PLO gunmen firing thousands of rounds of ammunition into the air to honour their latest "martyr"; and I noticed, just next to me, a Lebanese Hizbollah member – who had taken part in many attacks against the Israelis in what had been Israel's occupation zone in southern Lebanon – shaking his head.

What was he thinking, I asked? "Hamas try to stand up to the Israelis," he replied. "But..." And here he cast his eyes to the ceiling. "They waste bullets. They fire all these bullets into the sky. They should use them to shoot at Israelis."

His point, of course, was that Hamas lacked discipline, the kind of iron, ruthless discipline and security that Hizbollah forged in Lebanon and which the Israeli army was at last forced to acknowledge in southern Lebanon in 2006


Hizbollah in Lebanon has managed to purge its region of informers. Hamas – like all the other Palestinian outfits – is infected with spies, some working for the Palestinian Authority, others for the Israelis. ... In the 34-day war of 2006, Hizbollah lost about 200 of its men. Hamas lost almost that many in the first day of Israel's air attacks in Gaza – which doesn't say much for Hamas' military precautions.

Next is the War Nerd;

Hamas ain’t no Hezbollah. Hamas is tougher than the PLO; they proved that in the skirmishes over the last few years about who runs the PA. But that’s not saying much; one of my grandmothers-not both, just one, I’m trying to be fair here-was tougher than the PLO too. And there’s a huge, huge difference between scaring off fat sleazy Arafat gangsters by firing in the air and actually fighting the IDF. Hezbollah has somebody doing serious strategic planning; Hamas has a bunch of hotheads. Hezbollah has been bunkering up, training in anti-armor operations, learning to deal with air strikes for years. Hamas believes in yelling at the attack helicopters.

Still, once the dust settles we'll see. What is interesting is every single comment piece I have read acknowledges that Israel can't stop Hamas. All Hamas have to do to deny the Israeli's a victory is survive. Once this current escalation ends, the rockets won't. In short all this death will have been for nothing.

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