All posts tagged: long history of brutality

Israel Is Walking Into a Trap

Israel Is Walking Into a Trap

It’s a trap. Hamas’s ruthless and spectacular attack on southern Israel last Saturday was many things: an atrocity, a display of militant ingenuity, and a demonstration of the weakness of Israeli intelligence and defenses. Israel and the Palestinians have a long history of brutality against each other, but the Hamas killing spree outdoes anything since Israeli-controlled Christian militias massacred unarmed Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps outside of Beirut in 1982. It may even have been the single most brutal act by either side in the 100-year-old conflict. But above all, it was intended as a trap—one that Israel appears about to fall into. Hamas’s leaders and their Iranian backers have a conscious strategy. Like almost all other acts of spectacularly bloodthirsty terrorism, Hamas’s assault on southern Israel was designed to provoke an emotional and equally or even more outrageous response by the targeted society. Hamas and Iran are attempting to goad the Israelis into Gaza for a prolonged confrontation—which is to say that the intended effect is precisely the ground assault …