Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sneak Preview

Hamas in Gaza just got a preview of what Rocket War II could look like from their perspective:

Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday, killing at least 155 and wounding more than 310 in the single bloodiest day of fighting in recent memory.

Hamas said all of its security installations were hit and responded with several medium-range Grad rockets at Israel, reaching deeper than in the past. One Israeli was killed and at least four people were wounded.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said "the operation will last as long as necessary," but it was not clear if it would be coupled with a ground offensive. Asked if Hamas political leaders might be targeted next, military spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich said, "Any Hamas target is a target."

The strikes caused widespread panic and confusion in Gaza, as black clouds of smoke rose above the territory, ruled by Hamas for the past 18 months. Some of the Israeli missiles struck in densely populated areas as children were leaving school, and women rushed into the streets frantically looking for their children.

Israel just prepped the battlefield. The next time aircraft are spotted coming toward Gaza, Hamas leaders will scatter from their headquarters to avoid the missiles. They wish they'd done that this time.

But the next time planes come at them, an Israeli ground offensive will roll in too. And regardless of whether Israel hits all those security installations, by scattering to avoid the air attacks, the Hamas rulers will lose their command and control capabilities for many hours. Hamas fighters and terrorists will then be headless and easier to kill by a coordinated Israeli ground offensive.