Israeli artillery units pound the Gaza Strip
Israeli artillery units pound the Gaza StripYonatan Sindel/FLASH90

The cancellation of the elections, the checkpoints at the Nablus Gate, the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood, and the clashes on the Temple Mount led the IDFs intelligence services to the conclusion that there was going to be an escalation to the point of war around Jerusalem.

Muhammad Daf of Gaza called on social media to prevent such a situation, but it was clear that there was also the distinct possibility for war over Jerusalem.

More precise information arrived on Jerusalem Day this week, indicating that Jerusalem would come under fire. Some military preparations were completed, and some were not; for instance, the Iron Dome was not deployed in Jerusalem. Holiday events were allowed to continue - and that was a good thing, too.

Things snowballed from there.

Hamas and Yahya Sinwar originally thought that Israel would respond to the shooting with a few light days of fighting. The shock of the intensity of the response was enormous and the IDF rapidly leveled what had taken Hamas years to build. Rocket production and intensification systems were completely neutralized and will remain so for some time.

Second, 10 very senior members of the Hamas command and control system were eliminated, two of them irreplaceable at this time. Third, and most important of all, was the destruction of the underground tunnel along and across the Gaza Strip. Many dozens of terrorists were buried under the rubble.

Israeli security forces know of at least 90 senior Hamas officials who were killed during the fighting and are now attempting to neutralize all remaining production lines, eliminate more and more senior Hamas figures, and neutralize as rocket launchers as possible. The willingness to sacrifice everything for Jerusalem is considered an act of heroism by Palestinians and Arabs. Hamas has achieved one thing, the incitement of a wave of violence among Israeli citizens over Jerusalem.

As far as Israel is concerned, victory will only be achieved when the three elements of Hamas’s infrastructure mentioned here are destroyed completely, and when they can finally begin to support the Gazan people once again. This will take time and resources, but the IDF has plenty of both and is willing to do what it takes to win.

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