The Corner

Hamas about to Crack

The magnitude of Hamas’ imminent defeat in the Gaza War is impressive. Israel scored a major tactical victory in taking out Hamas’ Interior Minister, chief of internal security and Gaza City military commander while they were meeting at an allegedly safe house. This demonstrates the amazing job Israeli intelligence is doing in identifying targets, something that must make the surviving members of Hamas somewhat uncomfortable. It is hard to see how Hamas can continue to coordinate their defense or maintain internal cohesion having lost their top Gaza-based leaders. In other good news, the elite 100-man Hamas “Iranian” unit, trained in Iran and Lebanon by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah, has been destroyed while fighting in the Zeitoun neighborhood in south Gaza City. This shows that Israel is able to bring the fight to the city and inflict heavy casualties while suffering few in return, negating any advantage Hamas thought it had in defending the “complex terrain” of the urban area. Hamas will soon be forced to agree to the terms of the terms of the ceasefire being proffered by Egypt and France. Whether Hamas will be able to maintain control of Gaza is open to question — the organization seized the strip from the Fatah faction in a violent coup in June 2007, and Fatah no doubt would like to regain control. But reports from early in the war said that known Fatah operatives had been rounded up by Hamas, placed under house arrest, and in some cases shot in the legs or hands. By now they are probably dead. One can expect that any Fatah members in Gaza are currently being hunted down by Hamas to prevent a Fatah resurgence after the shooting stops. It would only make sense. Meanwhile Israel has erased the shame of the less decisive 2006 war in Lebanon and proved that groups like Hamas provoke confrontations with the IDF at their peril.

James S. Robbins — James S. Robbins is a political commentator for National Review and USA Today and is senior fellow for national security affairs on the American Foreign Policy Council. He is a ...

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