This author would like to believe the report’s opening premise which says that the Gaza ceasefire; “is being viewed with skepticism by Israeli government and military officials, who doubt the Palestinian Arabs’ willingness to keep to the truce for very long.”
The report goes on to say;
The Gaza-based terror groups, led by Hamas, continue to develop an massive terrorist infrastructure on par with
Hizballah-controlled southern Lebanon and Taliban-
controlled Afghanistan, he explained.
If they succeed in this quest, the “Palestinians” could turn Gaza into a swamp of violence that Israeli leaders dare not enter despite future rocket fire.
But this does not even come close to revealing the full extent of the Gaza threat.
John Keegan of Telegraph.co.uk goes much further in describing the extent of the terrorist infrastructure;
Israel cannot tolerate the rebuilding of Hizbollah’s fortified zone in south Lebanon, from which last year it launched its missile bombardment of northern Israel. Hizbollah has now reconstructed the fortified zone and is replenishing its stocks of missiles there. Hamas is also creating a fortified zone in the Gaza Strip and building up its stocks of missiles. Israel, therefore, faces missile attack on two fronts. When the Israel general staff decides the threat has become intolerable, it will strike.
Hizbollah suffered heavy losses in the fighting, perhaps as many as 1,000 killed out of its strength of up to 5,000 and it is only just now recovering.
What allowed Hizbollah to appear successful was its occupation of the bunker-and-tunnel system that it had constructed since June 2000, when the IDF gave up its presence in south Lebanon, which it had occupied since 1982.
Although the IDF had got into south Lebanon, the casualties it had suffered in entering the fortified zone had alarmed the government and high command, since Israel’s tiny population is acutely vulnerable to losses in battle. Israel’s plan was to destroy Hizbollah’s tunnels and bunkers, but the sending of a United Nations intervention force did not allow the destruction to be completed before the IDF was forced to withdraw.
Tunnel systems have played a crucial part in many modern campaigns, without attracting much attention. That is a serious oversight. The success of the Viet Cong in sustaining its war effort in Vietnam in 1968-72 depended heavily on its use of the so-called War Zone B, a complex of deep tunnels and underground bases north of Saigon, which had been begun during the war against the French in 1946-55.
War Zone B provided the Viet Cong with a permanent base of refuge and resupply that proved effectively invulnerable even against a determined American effort to destroy it. War Zone B has now become a major tourist attraction to Western visitors to Vietnam.
In its time, however, War Zone B was very far from being a holiday facility: it assured the survival of the Viet Cong close to Saigon and their ability to mount operations against the government forces and the Americans. Hizbollah, either by mimicry or on its own account, has now begun to employ a tunnel and underground base strategy against Israel. It was for that reason it was able to confront Israeli armoured forces in south Lebanon earlier this year.
The adoption of a tunnel strategy has allowed Hizbollah to wage asymmetric warfare against Israel’s previously all-conquering armoured forces. The tunnel system is also impervious to attack by the Israeli Air Force.
Since Israel’s reason for existence is to provide a secure base for the Jewish people, and that of the IDF is to act as their shield and safeguard – functions that have been carried out with high success since 1948 – it is obvious that neither can tolerate a zone of invulnerability occupied by a sworn enemy located directly on Israel’s northern border.
Although the full Keegan article is built upon what seems obviously false premises, i.e., that the IDF will go to war again, on perhaps both the Gaza and Lebanon fronts once the situation becomes sufficiently untolerable, that the government of Israel will display a continued ruthlessness where the nation’s self-defense and the defense of the Jewish people is concerned, this author does not share agreement on these premises.
Based on the Olmert Regime’s three-monkey approach to cease-fire violations, its total abrogation of it’s security obligations leaving children to cower under concrete desks in vulnerable, unprotected schools, the regime’s abject failure to Call It Like It Is: Religious War; Islam vs. Infidels, Olmert’s dogged determination and pre-occupation with expelling Jews from their homes in Yehuda and Shomron, just as he and Sharon did in Gush Katif regardless of under what guise, this author would conclude that there is no such “skepticism” regarding the Gaza cease-fire as what is characterized in the article. Rather, there is every reason to view the Olmert Regime as leaping at the same straws which have failed repeatedly and completely everytime in the past. And there is every reason to agree with MK Steinitz who characterized the policies of the Olmert government as the ultimate burial of Israeli determination. MB