The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an enduring issue that has resulted in countless losses of life, deep-rooted hatred, and political stalemates. Within this conflict, the Gaza Strip has emerged as a hotspot, with Hamas, an Islamist political and military organization, gaining significant control over the region. This conflict has been fueled by enemies of the United States, Israel, and our allies inside and outside the region. While the Israeli military has employed targeted and limited raids to counter Hamas, this essay argues that such strategies are fundamentally flawed and ineffective in achieving long-term peace and stability and destroying Hamas.
Limited Raids Lack a Comprehensive Approach
Unless we are doing hostage rescue, targeted and limited raids, by nature, are short-term military operations that aim to eliminate specific threats or individuals. However, dealing with Hamas requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the underlying grievances and social conditions that fuel their influence. Focusing solely on short-term military objectives, these raids fail to address the root causes of support to Hamas and destroy Hamas within the Gaza Strip. The sweep, clear, and leave strategy did not work in Afghanistan and Iraq and will not work in the Gaza Strip against Hamas. If I had a dollar for every time we cleared an area only to give it back to the Taliban and al Qaeda, I could buy an island and retire.
Israel Conducts Limited Raids in Gaza
Hamas’ Resilience and Adaptability
Hamas has shown resilience and adaptability despite previous Israeli military operations. Despite numerous targeted attacks and limited raids, the organization has survived and continued to grow its influence. Hamas has effectively taken advantage of the civilian casualties and destruction caused by these raids, using them as a recruitment tool and garnering sympathy from Palestinians and the international community. Time and time again, we watched this play out in Afghanistan and Iraq. This strategy is ineffective in neutralizing and destroying an unconventional threat.