Monday, January 12, 2009

CSIS Reports - The War in Gaza - Center for Strategic and International Studies

CSIS Reports - The War in Gaza - Center for Strategic and International Studies:

Andrew Cordesman states
…the growing human tragedy in Gaza is steadily raising more serious questions as to whether the kind of tactical gains that Israel now reports are worth the suffering involved.

"No one should discount … tactical gains, or ignore the fact that Hamas’ rocket and mortar attacks continue to pose a threat. Nearly 600 rounds hit Israeli territory between December 7th and January 9th. It is also clear that there are no good ways to fight an enemy like Hamas that conducts attrition warfare while hiding behind its own women and children. A purely diplomatic response that does not improve Israel’s security position or offer Palestinians hope for the future is equivalent to no response at all.

As of the 14th day of the war, nearly 800 Palestinian have died and over 3,000 have been wounded. Fewer and fewer have been Hamas fighters, while more and more have been civilians.

The fact remains, however, that the growing human tragedy in Gaza is steadily raising more serious questions as to whether the kind of tactical gains that Israel now reports are worth the suffering involved. As of the 14th day of the war, nearly 800 Palestinian have died and over 3,000 have been wounded. Fewer and fewer have been Hamas fighters, while more and more have been civilians.

These direct costs are also only part of the story. Gaza’s economy had already collapsed long before the current fighting began and now has far greater problems. Its infrastructure is crippled in critical areas like power and water. This war has compounded the impact of a struggle that has gone on since 2000. It has reduced living standards in basic ways like food, education, as well as medical supplies and services. It has also left most Gazans without a productive form of employment. The current war has consequences more far-reaching than casualties. It involves a legacy of greatly increased suffering for the 1.5 million people who will survive this current conflict.

It is also far from clear that the tactical gains are worth the political and strategic cost to Israel. At least to date, the reporting"

http://www.csis.org/index.php?option=com_csis_pubs&task=view&id=5188

con·cept: CSIS Reports - The War in Gaza - Center for Strategic and International Studies