Libmonster ID: U.S.-1387

A. A. ERMAKOV

Candidate of Historical Sciences

A. A. KORNILOV

Doctor of Historical Sciences

I. V. RYZHOV

Doctor of Historical Sciences

Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod

Keywords: State of Israel, Gaza Strip, Hamas, deterrence policy, Al-Quds intifada

Today, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is taking on a number of new features. Chief among them is the implementation of the so-called containment policy against the radicals of the Palestinian enclave. This approach is bearing fruit. Suffice it to say that last year, 2015, in terms of the number of rocket attacks on Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip, was one of the quietest in recent decades. This was largely due to the successful completion of Operation Protective Edge near Israel's southern borders in 2014, which caused significant damage to the Palestinians. Even when planning this operation, the Israelis expected - and these calculations were justified-that the need to compensate for the losses incurred by the radicals would become an important deterrent to the manifestation of combat activity.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is also not interested in a new large-scale military conflict. Israel's policy of deterrence is characterized by a limited use of military force. At the same time, the main alternative to deterrence is the re-occupation of the Palestinian enclave. However, for the Israeli leadership, this option is not acceptable. And it's not just about the losses that can be incurred during the operation and the subsequent dismantling of the radical infrastructure.

The most important goal of Israel's foreign policy is security (bitachon), which will ensure peace with neighboring states. Since the time of the country's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, ensuring security involves a certain hierarchy of State efforts. In such a hierarchy, strategic alliances with great Powers, advantageous regional alliances with non-Arab regimes, tacit understanding with some Arab countries, assistance to ethnic and religious minorities are combined with a constant increase in the military-technical power of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and maintaining the so-called strategic depth in the proposed theater of military operations with neighbors.1

HAMAS AS ... ISRAEL'S ASSISTANT IN THE POLICY OF DETERRENCE

Israel's leaders highly value military, technological, economic, and scientific excellence.-

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Israel's leadership over the Arab countries, ending the conflict with which opens up the prospect of regional leadership for Israel.2 To reoccupy the Gaza Strip is to create yet another obstacle to this goal. In addition, Hamas ' control of the Palestinian enclave is not the worst option for Tel Aviv. "The power of Hamas is in Israel's best interests," said Sami Turjeman, a former commander of Israel's Southern Military District. -There is a sovereign in the sector who makes efforts to protect sovereignty in the domestic arena. If it is overthrown, it will be replaced by chaos. The only way to prevent this is to retake Gaza. " 3

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas is one of the objects of deterrence for Israel. This organization, because of its military power, is the focus of Israeli deterrence. Tel Aviv holds it responsible for what is happening in the sector. "I think it has been made clear to Hamas that we hold them responsible for what is happening in the Gaza Strip and that we will not allow them to violate our borders or attack our territory or attack our citizens," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.4 "Our policy on the Gaza Strip is simple: Israel will not tolerate any rocket attacks on its territory from Gaza. The IDF responds to any such provocation. Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel, and it is Hamas 'responsibility to prevent such attacks," he said.5

The presence of a so-called responsible force in the Gaza Strip makes it easier for Israel to implement a policy of deterrence, allowing Hamas to reduce the activity of other radicals. Thus, the power of Hamas seems to be one of the components of the Israeli policy of deterrence. The presence of a responsible force in the face of this organization, coupled with the unwillingness to carry out re-occupation, limits Tel Aviv's actions towards the Palestinian enclave. At the same time, one of the main factors determining the dynamics of the confrontation between Israel and the radicals of the Gaza Strip is the actions of Egypt, which continues to play an important strategic role in this region.

Egypt's fight against cross-border tunnels connecting the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula is helping Tel Aviv pursue a policy of containment. In the fall of 2014, the Egyptian authorities decided to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza in order to prevent the movement of militants and the transfer of weapons through the tunnels. 6 And in 2015, a program was initiated to completely destroy such underground utilities and prevent further attempts to build them. In total, over the past few years, the Egyptian military has destroyed more than 1.5 thousand tunnels on the southern border of the Palestinian enclave 7. These actions by Cairo have worsened the strategic position of Hamas in the Palestinian arena, which has contributed to the strengthening of Israel's deterrent potential. At the same time, the deterioration of the position of Hamas can lead to negative consequences for the Israeli deterrent. After all, the deterrent effect can be lost when the object of deterrence has almost nothing to lose and is willing to pay a high price for its actions.

The means available to Israel today are insufficient to deter Hamas from continuing its military buildup, including from digging tunnels. 8 The threat of cross-border tunnels dug from Gaza into Israel is one of the main threats to Tel Aviv in the Palestinian arena. Thanks to these underground communications, the Palestinians inflicted painful blows on their enemy. In particular, the cross-border tunnel was used in such a high-profile action as the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit9. The Israelis are making significant efforts to neutralize the tunnel threat. According to IDF spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, the Israeli army's current top priority is to locate and destroy the Hamas 10 tunnels.

Cross-border tunnels are an important military tool, the presence and possibility of which expands the space for actions on the field of armed confrontation. Further use of them to attack Israel will provoke an extremely harsh response from Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said:: "If Israel is attacked by one of the tunnels leading out of the Gaza Strip, the response will be immediate, and it will be much more powerful than during Operation Protective Edge.11

The policy of containment against Gaza radicals includes a so-called technological response to the threat of cross-border tunnels. Such a response has been prepared for a long time. Back in 2012, it was reported that tests in Israel of the underground tunnel detection system, which was the result of the work of the technology department of the land Command.-

page 25

Russian troops 12. The successful introduction of such a system will strengthen Tel Aviv's position in the confrontation with the radicals of the Gaza Strip. Moreover, Israelis may face attempts to commit "tunnel attacks" on other borders of their state. In particular, the Israel Defense Forces has already searched for such tunnels on the northern border13.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE AL-QUDS INTIFADA

One of the main events of our days in the zone of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the prolonged wave of violence that began in the fall of 2015, known as the "Al-Quds Intifada" ("Jerusalem intifada"), during which attacks were carried out against Israelis using stones and molotov cocktails, cold and firearms, improvised explosive devices, so-called "transport terrorist attacks"were carried out. Israel's security forces have previously faced similar attacks. The "Al-Quds Intifada" is part of permanent violence, not a qualitatively new round of prolonged confrontation.14

The attacks with the use of cold weapons committed by lone terrorists turned out to be extremely dangerous. In the period 2015-2016. they were called the "knife intifada". A distinctive feature of such attacks is the high probability of death of their perpetrators. Israel's Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan said that solo attacks committed during this wave of violence can be equated with suicide terror. He also noted that it is extremely difficult to find a deterrent factor for people who are ready to die.15 Even such a measure as destroying the homes of terrorists is sometimes not able to deter them from attempting to commit a terrorist attack. These virtually suicidal attacks may be based on the desire to become famous by turning into a "shahid"16.

The specifics of the actions of lone terrorists were noted by the commander of the Etzion brigade, IDF Colonel Roman Hoffman. The Israeli officer stated that such a loner himself plans a terrorist attack and decides where to attack and what means to use 17. Among these tools, most often - simple and affordable edged weapons. Countering the threat of lone terrorists is complicated by the "autonomy" of their actions, coupled with the readiness for self-sacrifice inherent in many of them. It should also be noted that, in addition to such individuals, the Israeli security forces also have to deal with" systemic resistance " in the face of radical structures.

The conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinian organization Hamas escalated somewhat in the first half of May 2016. This was due to the events around the Gaza Strip, and not Jerusalem and the West Bank, as can be assumed. Both sides refrained from expanding the scale of the armed confrontation. "We are not calling for a new war, but we will not tolerate Zionist incursions, attempts to impose their will on us and the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip," Ismail Haniyeh, deputy chairman of the Hamas politburo, said at the time.18

In connection with these events, it can be stated that the Gaza Strip continues to be the main arena of military confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians. It should be noted that no large-scale military operation took place in the West Bank during the "Al-Quds intifada". Given the threats Israel faced during the 2015-2016 wave of violence, such actions were unnecessary. In addition, the Israelis have the ability to exert permanent pressure on their opponent. In particular, the increased attention of the Israeli security forces is directed to the area of Hebron, where the popularity of the Hamas organization is high19. In general, the forces and means used by Tel Aviv make it possible to quite successfully counteract the" systemic resistance " of Palestinian radicals.

THE DIALOG HAS NO ALTERNATIVE

In recent years, the Israeli leadership may have become aware of the need to review its foreign policy in the Middle East region. The country understands that, based on its national and security interests, it is necessary to get out of the state of confrontation with the Arab world as soon as possible. In this regard, Tel Aviv is trying to keep the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation in a "state of calm". A characteristic feature of Israel's policy towards the conflict with the Palestinians has become the so-called "deterrence tactics" against radical organizations opposing it, including the Hamas movement.

This allows us to speak about the evolution of the Israeli approach to the Middle East settlement, which is reflected in the revision of the role of the Hamas organization in the Gaza Strip controlled by it. Currently, Israel sees Hamas as a kind of informal ga-

page 26

the security of its southern borders, since this organization is the sovereign in the territory of the Palestinian enclave. Tel Aviv's policy of deterrence has yielded results, which include, among other things, maintaining a relative calm near the southern borders of Israel against the background of the events of the "Al-Quds intifada".

Thus, the constants of Tel Aviv's military policy in the Palestinian direction are: deterring Hamas by military means; designating this organization as an entity responsible for maintaining the "silence regime" on the border with Gaza; maintaining the role and efforts of Egypt, an important link in the Israeli system of strategic "encirclement rings" in the fight against Islamists; and maintaining the role of Egypt as an important link in the Israeli system of strategic "encirclement rings" in the fight against Islamists. Build up and improve the military power of the Israel Defense Forces, which can overcome the country's vulnerability to the northern (Hezbollah) and southern (Hamas) fronts.

Changes in Israel's military policy are obvious. The role of monitoring and proactive analysis of any manifestations of anti-Israeli violence has significantly increased. Such an analysis allows the country's leadership to choose in advance options for decisions either on the start of a full-scale military operation, or on the continuation of limited strikes against targets designated by intelligence. Israel is ready to apply technological solutions. In particular, to the "technological response" to the threat of cross-border tunnels of Palestinian radicals.

By and large, it is necessary to resume the Palestinian-Israeli peace process as soon as possible. Constructive dialogue between the parties will help reduce the intensity of anti-Israeli propaganda in Palestinian networks and media and demotivate those Palestinians who are desperate enough to bring death to themselves and the citizens of Israel.


Kornilov A. A. 1 Safety is paramount. Concepts of Foreign policy and National Security of the State of Israel. N. Novgorod: UNN Publishing House, 2005; Konyshev V. N., Sergunin A. A. The USA and the creation of missile defense systems in the Near and Middle East. 2015. N 11. (Konyshev V.N., Sergunin A.A. 2015. SSHA i sozdanie sistem PRO na Blizhnem i Srednem Vostoke // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 11) (in Russian)

Sorokin A. S. 2 Novye menazy bezopasnosti Gosudarstva Izrael i turbulence of the Middle East region [2 New threats to the Security of the State of Israel and turbulence in the Middle East region]. Zarubezhnoe regionovedenie: problemy teorii i praktiki [Foreign Regional Studies: Problems of Theory and Practice], N. Novgorod, UNN Publishing House, 2015, p. 83.

3 General Turgeman: "The power of Hamas in Gaza is in the interests of Israel" - http://www.newsru.co.il/mideast/12may2015/sami_a206.html

4 Netanyahu heard a report on the readiness of the Southern District forces - http://www.newsru.co.il/israel/20oct2015/netanyahu_0014.html

5 The truce between Israel and Hamas is under threat - http://www.newsru.co.il/mideast/13mar2016/gaza_103.html

Meshcheriia K. V. 6 "V sostoyanii voiny": borba s terrorizm v Severnom Sinai [In the State of War: the fight against terrorism in Northern Sinai]. 2015. N 12, p. 30. (Meshcherina K. V. 2015. "V sostoyanii voiny": borba s terrorizmom v Severnom Sinae // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 12) (in Russian)

7 Another underground tunnel collapsed on the Gaza-Egypt border - http://www.newsru.co.il/mideast/18арг2016/tunnel_119.html

Yadlin A. 8 Past Lessons and Future Objectives: A Preemptive Strike on Hamas Tunnels // The Institute for National Security Studies - http://www.inss.org.il/index.aspx?id=4538&articleid=11428

9 Attack on the IDF forces and abduction of a soldier in the Kerem Shalom area / / Meir Amit Information Center for the Study of Terrorism - http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/data/pdf/PDF_18932_6.pdf

10 Last night the IDF air Force attacked four Hamas targets in northern Gaza - http://www.newsru.co.il/mideast/05may2016/gaza_101.html

11 Netanyahu: "The response to the attack through the tunnels will be more powerful than during the "Unbreakable Rock" - www.news.ru.co.il/israel/31jan2016/net_0020.html

12 The IDF has found a solution to the problem of Palestinian tunnels - http://www.newsru.co.il/israel/02j4il2012/gaza_a201.html

13 The IDF began searching for tunnels on the border with Lebanon - http://newsru.co.il/israel/28jan2015/minharot_705.html

Ermakov A. A., Ryzhov I. V. 14 "The Al-Quds Intifada" and its place in the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation / / Asia and Africa Today. 2016. N 2, с. 13. (Ermakov A.A., Ryzhov I.V. 2016. "Intifada Al-Kudsa" ieyo mesto v palestino-izrailskom protivostoyanii // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 2) (in Russian)

15 On the police crisis and the fight against terror. Interview with Interior Minister Gilad Erdan - http://www.newsru.co.il/israel/26jan2016/erdan_int_701.html

16 Interim results of analysis of the profile of perpetrators of terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria during the current wave of terror (September 14-November 15, 2015) / / Information Center... - http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/Data/articles/Art_20917/R_199_15_258704637.pdf

Vigdorchik P. 17 Perekrestok. Gush Etzion security report - http://www.newsru.co.il/israel/24mar2016/tzomet_201.html

18 Ismail Haniyeh: "We are not looking for a new war, but we do not intend to tolerate Israeli incursions into Gaza" / / Palestinian Information Center - http://www.palestine-info.ru/ru/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO% 2bils7flq2YzN4wFwnqj8%2fix6ca7FKhU5AC%2f%2bKuNV828CeQDen6HpptOFo7g5vHR ebJ5MFg%2ba8NvoINFxDg5vJjts630ABtFBy50sGHrTeMrifCyI%3d

19 Interim results of the analysis of the profile of perpetrators of terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria...


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