1) At the INSS Liran Antebi looks at under-reported aspects of Hamas’ recent attacks against Israel.
“Along with the heavy rocket barrages launched against Israel during Operation Guardian of the Walls, there were a number of attempts by Hamas to attack Israel with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), mostly loaded with explosives. According to Hamas, their purpose is to attack IDF forces, Israeli towns and villages, and the gas installations at sea. These attempts were foiled by the IDF or suffered technical failures. In addition, Hamas attempted to operate unmanned submarines against marine targets. These efforts were also foiled by the IDF with attacks on launchers and ground operatives, attempting to launch unmanned aircraft. Given the growing use of unmanned weapons by the “other side,” it is important to study these efforts and understand how they were defeated, while also monitoring trends in this realm in order to assist future preparations.”
2) The ITIC now has an English translation of its ‘examination of the names of the fatalities in the IDF airstrikes during the first two days of Operation Guardian of the Walls’.
“As in previous operations and this time even more, entities in the Gaza Strip (the Health Ministry and the terrorist organizations) hardly publicize the deaths of terrorist operatives. This, with the exception of senior operatives and officials, in which case the organizations they belong to published official death notices. The Hamas administration is trying to create a false impression that the vast majority of those killed were uninvolved civilians. In its announcements, the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip emphasizes the number of women, children and seniors killed and, unlike in the past, it does not publish detailed lists that include the names of those killed. Many of the dead terrorist operatives are also presented on social media and by Arab media outlets as “civilians” for the same reason.”
3) The International Legal Forum provides a backgrounder on ‘International Law and Operation Guardian of the Walls’.
“In every conflict between Israel and Hamas, including the present operation, there is a recurring charge that, because of the unequal number of casualties, Israel’s actions were ‘disproportionate’. However, that is a gross misinterpretation of the law, as it relates to ‘proportionality.’ The mere fact of a difference in civilian casualties in the course of a military operation, does not necessarily imply that such action was disproportionate. Under the Law of Armed Conflict, the relevant question is whether the amount of military force taken in self-defense was proportionate (or necessary) to achieve the intended goal of the operation.”
4) At the JISS, Jonathan Spyer discusses ‘Iran and Hamas’s Jerusalem/Gaza offensive against Israel’.
“But while Iran and its proxies clearly wish to avoid direct engagement beyond the rhetorical in the current hostilities, Iran’s support forms a vital component of Hamas’s war effort. Hamas’s relations with Tehran are complex. Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a straightforward proxy and client of the Iranians. Hamas, by contrast, emerged from the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. […]
The latest Hamas attacks that began the current round of fighting are likely to improve Hamas’s stock in the eyes of the Iranians. Unlike the Turkey/Qatar axis, Tehran’s expectation of its Palestinian allies is for direct armed action. Iran’s role in assisting and supplying Hamas’s rocket arsenal is central and pivotal. The Kornet ATGMs employed in recent days by Hamas, which resulted in the death of Sgt. Omer Tabib, were supplied to Gaza from Syria under the auspices of the IRGC, according to a December 7, 2020, statement by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.”