The Underground War

by Daniel Russ on July 21, 2014

 

 

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This is not so much a ground war, as it is an underground war. The tunnels under Israel and Egypt are the supply line for Gazans, bringing them the goods they need in the blockade. The medicines and goods stream through a series of tunnels skeining underneath the border  crossings with Egypt and Israel.

General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi seized power a year ago in Egypt. His military took control out of the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood in a junta. The problem began when the Muslim Brotherhood began governing like religious extremists, and most of the Egyptian population enjoyed a more secular approach to governance during thirty years under Mubarak. Hosni Mubarak was a dictator, and was often brutal. But you could be a Christian or a Jew in Egypt and live relatively unharmed. That said, he fell out of favor with Hamas, which while acting as the civil infrastructure of  Gaza, and a military power as well, it essentially is theocratic force. Hamas has relied on the Egyptian tunnel network for years to resupply Gaza. So if Egypt is shutting them down, the Gazans will suffer unecessarily.

The problem for Hamas is that it acts as an aggressive military force in a situation where the Gazans would most likely benefit from diplomacy. They are outnumbered and out gunned, and even with more advanced home made rockets, they can only offer the American Revolution style resistance: keep fighting no matter how often you lose. Like the Romans who would accept no surrender offers, the military arm of Hamas, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, understands that occupiers, and precepts find the costs to quell resistance too much at some point. If that is their end game then this isn’t even the first quarter. Plus both their neighbors despise them, and they aren’t winning any friends along the way.

What they do well is act with international intentions. The military leaders in the tiny strip of land can start fires across the world because they know they represent a global struggle between Islam/Arabism, and the west. It is not just the Arabs versus the US-Israeli power center. It’s about pushing back on every secular state.

If the general news media is right, and that would be a rare event, and if Hamas is staging attacks from populated areas to cull casualties for news political points, one has to wonder what their end game is. Certainly they are timing the attacks with the sudden military success of ISIS. Perhaps this is just all PR. Right now, I don’t see this as a militarily viable option for Hamas.

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