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Tactical transformations
[Daily Edition]
Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem
Date: Aug 7, 2002
Start Page: 09
Section: Opinion
Abstract (Document Summary)

The nature of the war between Israel and Hamas is becoming more complex. In simple terms, it is moving away from the clearly defined cycle of suicide-bomb attack followed by widespread Israeli military retaliation. Some form of collective punishment on the Palestinians has usually accompanied the latter in the form of curfews and restricted entrance into Israel of Palestinian workers.

Hamas wants to be viewed as the new Hizbullah, which is renowned for its versatile repertoire of attack methods against Israelis. It won't be long before we see Hamas firing rockets (armed with conventional or nonconventional warheads, either homemade or supplied by Iran or Iraq) at Israeli population centers. Guerrilla- style attacks against the IDF and Jewish settlers are also likely to become much more frequent.

The expulsion policy may prove to be just the first step of many in a concerted attempt to create just such a plan. In short, what is needed is a new Israeli war plan that maximizes damage to Hamas's infrastructure but does not punish the Palestinians as a whole. It's a tall order, but it has to be undertaken. As Hamas broadens its strategies, it is vital that Israel respond accordingly.

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