19 January 2009

19 January 2009 - How Hamas lost

Happy MLK, Jr. day, by the way.

Here's a good analysis from the Jerusalem Post of how the IDF routed Hamas--and how Hamas behaved under fire:

The simple fact is that Hamas was not fighting in the areas penetrated by the IDF, even though its defensive doctrine - drawn up under Iranian supervision with the assistance of Hizballah - is based on an attempt to stop the IDF's infantry brigades outside of Gaza City, or at least to detain them.

Hamas abandoned the heart of "Qassamland" - the areas surrounding Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun and Atatra - almost without resistance. The offensive array of bunkers and tunnels, booby-trapped buildings prepared for detonation from afar, and all the other tricks adopted by Hamas were captured intact. From the perspective of the people of Gaza, Hamas simply abandoned the arena and fled into the crowded neighborhoods.

Once there, since the second day of the campaign, Hamas fighters have hurriedly shed their uniforms. Many of them simply deserted and returned to their families, taking their guns with them. In some locations, Hamas prevented civilians from leaving neighborhoods that were in the line of fire; overall, it invested great effort in blocking civilians who wished to flee to the south of the Strip.

Hamas forcefully appropriated the few international aid deliveries, hijacked ambulances in order to move from one location to another, and carried out public executions of Fatah activists. In many cases, Hamas fighters showed "forgiveness" and made do with shooting the Fatah men in the legs.

All of this was going on while the entire political leadership of Hamas was hiding in the basements of hospitals such as Shifa in Gaza City or Kamal Adwan near Beit Lahiya.

Sporadically, they released videos from their places of hiding. The rather pathetic impression they created is that of a leadership that abandoned its population and was busy trying to save its own skin.

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