Senior Israeli officers described the Hamas victory to DEBKAfile as a greater misfortune for Israel than its Lebanon War setbacks. There, Hizballah was forced by Israeli military action to accept a UN ceasefire and international peacekeepers.
Hamas has no such incentive. In the case of Gaza, the winner takes all and can dictate terms. A radical Islamic enclave with a dominant Iranian-Syrian military presence has sprung up unopposed as a hostile reality on Israel’s southwestern border. It has made the Israeli-Middle East Quartet’s boycott an irrelevance.