Israel took months to prepare for latest offensive on Gaza, analysts say

Smoke and flames rise as Israeli airstrikes over Gaza Strip continue, in Khan Yunis, Gaza (Abed Zagout - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 9, 2022

Israel took several months to prepare for the latest offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip, Israeli military analysts have said, noting it came as part of plan dubbed “Wave Breaker” launched by Israeli forces in March.

Several Israeli reports stated that the ceasefire would be temporary, adding that there will definitely be another round of strikes on Gaza.

Ron Ben Yishai, Israeli military analyst, wrote to Ynet News: “Still, the operation neither solved the problem in Gaza, nor promoted any solution. Another worrying takeaway from this operation is the PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] were not obliterated. It still has the ability to cause harm both in Gaza and the West Bank.”

“We must not forget that this round of fighting was conducted under ideal circumstances – against a cruel yet very limited enemy, in a small battlefield in which Israel not only has the authority to impose a blockade, but also gather intelligence and obtain mobility very easily.”

Ben Yishai applauded the restraint of Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defence Minister Benny Gantz, “who kept quiet, while setting the stage for Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar to surprise the PIJ with a multidimensional blow.”

Therefore, he said: “Less than three minutes into the mission, the PIJ was already thrown off, giving Israel the upper hand. If Lapid and Gantz were to fall into political traps and disclose the plan to additional parties, the surprise attack would not have been possible.”

Alex Fishman wrote in Ynet News that the Israeli intelligence took time to prepare for the offensive. “The basics of the operation were planned ahead, which allowed quick and precise decisions to be made, based on developments on the ground,” he said.

“The opening move of the operation was made by the Shin Bet, who was responsible for gathering intelligence on Islamic Jihad targets. Once the intelligence was ready, and the attack plans finalised, the head of the Shin Bet gave the green light to carry it out.”

Fishman stated that this operation was “only part of a larger move that has been underway for months to stop the Islamic Jihad from establishing a terror infrastructure in the West Bank with the help of Iran.”

Writing in Israel Hayom, Yoav Limor added: “And yet, the success of the operation must not overshadow the big picture: Gaza is not gone, and is not going anywhere. Its two million residents… are here to stay, and they will continue to challenge Israel in the future as well.”

“Although Israel scored some good points and strengthened deterrence, it will need much more than that to solve the Gaza problem.”