Instead, Israel, with the newly developed Iron Dome missile defense system, destroyed 84 percent of the incoming Hamas rockets likely to cause damage. The Israeli Air Force, Navy, and Artillery Corps hit more than 1,500 targets with overwhelmingly pinpoint precision, 10 times more than they took out in Operation Cast Lead four years ago.
Economically, the Israelis with their precise and massive strikes inflicted billions of dollars of damage on Hamas-related facilities. By contrast, Hamas evidently inflicted only slight damage on Israeli facilities. Politically, after the first bloom of the “victory” rapidly fades away, the bulk of Gazans are sure to be angry over the almost total failure again of their government to protect them from mass devastation, the deaths of at least 160 people, or even provide concrete bomb shelters or air raid sirens to warn of attack. This contrasts vividly with Israeli sirens and shelters.
Diplomatically, Hamas in the short term looks sure to gain. But its association with Iran still remains less than tight, especially with Hamas’s denunciation of Syria (Iran’s only major Arab ally).
Too, the arrival of several Arab and Middle Eastern diplomats in Gaza to show support for the Palestinian cause may prove less than it seems on the surface for Hamas. Turkey will have to walk back much of its lashing out at Israel as a “terrorist state” guilty of war crimes if it wishes to remain in good standing in NATO and keep the bulk of its trade with the West.