The Insane Hamas War

Oh for a thousand. That’s Hamas’s batting average on the eighth day of what Israel calls Operation Protective Edge and what could be called the Insane Hamas War. Hamas has now fired over a thousand rockets at Israel, each time with the hope of inflicting multiple Israeli fatalities, but it still—thanks mainly, of course, to Israel’s remarkable Iron Dome missile-defense system—hasn’t inflicted a single one.

Hamas has also tried to kill Israelis with a maritime infiltration, a tunnel infiltration, and a drone launch—all foiled.

Meanwhile, as the Israeli Foreign Ministry reported, Israel

has targeted over 1,576 terror targets, from the air and the sea. Among the sites targeted by the IDF are: long-range rocket launchers, Hamas leadership facilities, terror and smuggling tunnels, fuel-smuggling tunnels, compounds and training sites, communications facilities, air defense elements, concealed launchers, and additional sites used for terror activities targeting Israel, including command and control centers.

These are almost all, needless to say, accurate hits, inflicting great damage on Hamas. Israel has also reportedly inflicted about 200 fatalities—some of them, of course, very famously, unintentionally killed civilians—and a much higher number of wounded.

Hamas was offered a way out of this seemingly losing situation on Tuesday morning when the Israeli cabinet voted 6-2 to accept an Egyptian ceasefire proposal. Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel would stop all hostilities if Hamas did, and then work for a diplomatically achieved disarmament of Hamas. Hamas’s military wing—which now appears to be running things in Gaza—responded by turning the offer down flat and firing dozens more rockets. Even then, it took Israel a few hours to start pummeling Hamas again.

What does Hamas want? Apart from the obvious, “glorious” one of murdering men, women, and children, various analysts mention these possible motives: inspiring a new intifada on the West Bank; getting Egypt to reopen the border crossings it has closed; getting Fatah to pay the salaries of 40,000 Hamas civil servants in Gaza; and shoring up its political status vis-à-vis Fatah among the Palestinians. Except—possibly—the last of those, Hamas has achieved none of those goals in these eight days.