In this article we address one particular type of asymmetry — structural asymmetry. After introducing the main characteristics and different phases of these types of conflicts, i. The aim is to explain why, despite the many negotiation phases this conflict has been through, none has ever led to a sustainable peace. On the contrary, each negotiation has brought on yet another confrontation phase, in a never-ending series of loops.
The operation was preceded by a month of escalating violence that began with the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas operatives in the West Bank, and continued with the widespread arrest of Hamas leaders and the dismantling of Hamas institutions in the West Bank by the Israeli Defense Forces IDF.
It could only achieve a satisfactory security situation that would last an unspecified period of time. Iron Dome Hamas began firing rockets into Israel as far back as April These initial rockets were often homemade with a short range and limited destructive impact.
In recent years, however, Hamas and other organizations operating in the Gaza Strip have switched to using military-quality rockets. The Iron Dome can calculate the trajectory of a rocket and engages rockets only when they are predicted to explode in populated areas.
On the eve of the conflict, it was estimated that some 8, to 10, rockets and thousands of mortar shells had been stockpiled by Hamas and the PIJ. Some 3, rockets fell in unpopulated areas and were successfully shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, which achieved an unprecedented success rate of 90 perecnt.
It allows the decision makers to have vast leeway in managing the campaign and in the decisions that we make. In contrast to this approach, in the IDF created a bottom-up approach.
The message Israel wanted to signal to Hamas was to restore the status-quo or else. Just as the Iron Dome was the game-changer for Israel, the underground network complex became the strategic balancer for Hamas. Military analysis of the strategic failures of the Lebanon War had led to a transition in the IDF operational concept.
The coordination between ground, air, and naval forces, and intelligence, led to a vast combined training effort, the unification of military language, and an effective network connection between forces. On July 14,Egypt intervened in an attempt to broker a ceasefire based on the agreement stipulated in Israel accepted this overture, but Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.
During the ground phase, the IDF maneuvered two miles inside the Gaza Strip with five brigade task forces augmented by Special Forces battalions. During the 18 days of the ground phase, IDF forces succeeded in destroying 13 tunnels six to seven of which were cross-border and 60 fighting shafts, neutralizing 13 others and disrupting six.
Cycle of Adjustment When Hamas realized that the Iron Dome system effectively intercepted its rockets, the organization tried to rebalance the asymmetric equation by deploying naval commandos to raid the southern shores of Israel and by using cross-border tunnels for attacks, capturing soldiers and kidnapping civilians.
Daytime was spent resting and regrouping in shielded areas. They used massive firepower artillery, tank fire, and mine-clearing line charge systems to undermine Hamas from a safe distance. Additional countertactics included sending tanks and D9 bulldozers into Hamas compounds followed by infantry forces, which swept buildings for tunnels and weapons.
Hamas benefited from certain advantages that created two tactical problems for the IDF. First, Hamas was able to use cross-border tunnels in order to emerge behind IDF forces inside Israeli territory.
Second, Hamas was able to navigate tunnels and attack shafts inside the Gaza Strip and accordingly surface in an unpredictable pattern. The IDF responded to these kidnapping attempts with heavy fire, mostly delivered by artillery.
In the Rafah incident alone, 41 Palestinians were killed.
Main battle tanks proved their worth in the urban warfare terrain, as Hamas fighters withdrew from engagement when they appeared. Givati soldiers followed by other units used large smoke grenades and industrial fans to smoke out Hamas fighters from the tunnels and also to identify, using pillars of smoke, tunnel shafts.
At the operational level, over the course of the conflict Israel managed to attack 5, targets while Hamas and the PIJ managed to fire an average of 90 rockets and mortar shells per day throughout the conflict.
On August 26,all sides agreed to an open-ended ceasefire once again mediated by Egypt. Conclusion Over the past decade Israel and Hamas have engaged in six major military campaigns. In the conflict, Israel strived for a ceasefire agreement that would restore the security of its citizens for a lengthy period of time.
The IAF failed to resolve the tunnel threat from the air causing Israel to launch a ground attack.
Hamas achieved several objectives in this conflict as well. It appears that the question of which side was more successful during the conflict remains open. The fragile deadlock between Israel and Hamas remains, with both sides already preparing for the next round.
He previously served as secretary and an executive committee member of the Association of Civil-Military Scholars in Israel. Sussex Academic Press,pp. Amir Eshel, remarks made after Security Cabinet meeting, July 10, Israel Ziv and Maj. Center for Strategic Studies, Eliezer Toledano, paratroopers infantry brigade commander, Uvda, August 7, Intractable Peacebuilding: Innovation and Perseverance in the Israeli-Palestinian Context Ned Lazarus intractable conflicts, such as Israel/Palestine.
they fail to reach “upward” to structural or institutional change; (3) They fail to take account of the asymmetric power relations that usually characterize these complex conflict.
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict as a Structural Asymmetric Conflict 31 Clearly, symmetry is only one of the points of view from which a conflict can be analyzed, although in some cases it is crucial. Developing agency through peacebuilding When a society’s institutions are in flux, as in the example of Palestine, a nation in the midst of self-actualisation, and Israel, a nation still.
In the following, we consider two versions of each of the three variables: the number of daily events and the daily incidence.
The former variable is the count of events, i.e., the number of Palestinian and Israeli fatalities and Qassam firings on any given day.
The cases of the Western Balkans and Israel–Palestine are used to explore symmetry and asymmetry, and the role of mass media, in conflict and peace-making. Introductory sections include an “anatomic” discussion of structural, cultural, and psychological dimensions of asymmetry, and a “diagnostic” characterization of symmetries and asymmetries in war and peace.
James W. McAuley, Catherine McGlynn and Jon Tonge, Conflict resolution in asymmetric and symmetric situations: Northern Ireland as a case study, Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, 1, 1, (88), ().