November 19th, 2012
05:49 PM ET

Why Israel might hesitate to start a ground invasion

By Mike Mount

Thousands of Israeli troops with tanks and armored vehicles are poised on Gaza's borders ready to move in if Israel believes there is no chance for a cease-fire in its conflict with Hamas.

The Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren, told reporters Monday at a briefing at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC that Israel would like to avoid a ground invasion, but war planning is complete and they are ready to move in if necessary.

But Israel, which continued to press its air offensive against Gaza militants for a sixth day on Monday, is said to be well aware that a ground invasion would carry broad risks.

Israel learned that from its 2008 war in Gaza when it lost the support of the international community. Air force and ground troops then poured on superior firepower, hitting numerous civilian targets in an effort to wipe out militants and their infrastructure. Nearly 1,300 people were killed.

A United Nations investigation concluded that the Israeli military committed war crimes during that conflict, which created a major diplomatic problem for Israel.

Smuggling weapons to Gaza - the long way

Carrying the memory of that experience and a parliamentary election just two months away, the Israeli government is mindful of potential international and domestic consequences of a ground invasion, those watching the situation closely said.

"Higher Palestinian casualties could lead to an erosion of international support for Israel's right to defend itself from the Hamas rocket attacks," according to Haim Malka, a senior fellow at Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu is hesitant for a ground operation because of the political liability and the risks that such an operation carries for Israel," Malka said.

Palestinian health officials said 104 people have died and another 860 have been wounded in Gaza since Israel began its offensive in response to what it characterized as incessant rocket attacks by militants. Israeli officials say three people have died and 68 have been wounded in Israel as the result of rocket fire from Gaza.

Public opinion polls in Israel also appeared reluctant to deeper military involvement.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israelis expressed strong backing for the ongoing military air operation, but were hesitant to add a ground offensive. The paper reported on Monday that 85% of Israelis believed in starting the military operation.

When asked how the government should proceed, 45% of the survey respondents favored continuing air strikes while 25% recommended a ground offensive. Some 22% said Israel should seek a cease fire.

The intention of the air assault is to weaken or destroy the capability of Hamas to launch rockets into Israel, according to an Israeli official.

Militants in Gaza have fired nearly 1,000 rockets at Israel since the conflict began, the Israel Defense Forces said Monday. Israel has targeted more than 1,300 sites in its bombing campaign, according to the IDF.

U.S. sends warships near Israel in case of evacuation needed

Ambassador Oren said at the current rate of activity military action could last 45 days to 100 days. He said Hamas has 10,000 to 11,000 rockets left, but would not say how many Israel has destroyed, though Israel has fired just over 1,100.

When asked by reporters what Israel wanted from Hamas Oren said, “Guarantees against the return to the status quo.”

Negotiations in Egypt to try to halt to the fighting have yet to yield a breakthrough. There was a 50-50 chance the mission would be expanded to a ground invasion, one government official told Israel's Haaretz newspaper.

In an interview on Israeli television, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said on Monday no option had been ruled out, but at this stage "everything depends on the action of Hamas."

Former Israeli General Dan Harel said Israel is running out of targets that are away from population centers while Hamas leaders and other targeted individuals have now gone underground or are in mosques or among the civilian population.

"These are targets Israel will not strike because it is morally wrong," Harel said.

If that is indeed Israel's position, it also lessens the chance of a ground invasion that would no doubt target the locations of Hamas leaders and weapons in sensitive areas.

"The most likely scenario is that there is a cease-fire, hopefully brokered by the United States and Egypt, and then we all go back to exactly where we were before," says Reza Aslan, author of "No God but God," which looks at how the Arab Spring movement will ultimately play out.

"In a couple years, we start this process all over again. At a certain point, Israel is going to have to recognize that Hamas, whether it likes it or not, is the actual government in Gaza. And it's going to have to figure out a long-term solution to maintaining a viable ceasefire and that might include actually easing the blockade against Gaza," he told CNN on Monday.

According to Haaretz, Netanyhau, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman were updated on Monday by an Israel emissary who had just returned from a talk with Egyptian general intelligence officials.

"The deliberations centered on the demands made by Hamas and on the Egyptian proposals for compromise," according to the newspaper, quoting an Israeli official.

However, Malka said Hamas could make a ground decision easy for Israel if it were to launch a "large wave of longer range rockets that hit the Tel Aviv area or a shorter range rocket that hits and causes a high number of civilian casualties."

The Palestinian territory has been under a crippling economic embargo since Hamas, a militant fundamentalist Islamic organization, took political control from the Palestinian Authority in a 2007 election.

Obama's telephone diplomacy on Gaza

soundoff (678 Responses)
  1. Zada Lippeatt

    I like this weblog so much, saved to fav. "Respect for the fragility and importance of an individual life is still the mark of an educated man." by Norman Cousins.

    March 6, 2021 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  2. Rayford Sandstedt

    Good – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task.

    March 4, 2021 at 9:42 am | Reply
  3. ClarkClurn

    dstao 23eta 6re1

    February 28, 2021 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  4. ClarkClurn

    marob couvs 6xqr

    February 28, 2021 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  5. vreyro linomit

    Thanks for any other informative web site. Where else may I get that type of info written in such an ideal approach? I've a undertaking that I am simply now working on, and I have been at the look out for such information.

    February 26, 2021 at 4:45 am | Reply
  6. SocialMedia Services2021

    Best Marketing Services – Cheapest on Market. SMM Supreme is the Top 5 Best Social Media Website in the World. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714,928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes for $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers for $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Bitcoin Deposit – Fast order processing – 1 Hour Delivery Our Website:

    February 19, 2021 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  7. 1500 USA-Visitors-Daily

    1500 USA Visitors Daily For 30 Days From Niche Targeted Organic Traffic From Google:

    February 16, 2021 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  8. frolep rotrem

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog. An excellent read. I'll certainly be back.

    February 10, 2021 at 5:56 am | Reply

    I was studying some of your posts on this website and I think this site is very informative ! Retain putting up.

    February 9, 2021 at 4:23 am | Reply

    I've recently started a site, the information you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work. "Quit worrying about your health. It'll go away." by Robert Orben.

    February 9, 2021 at 3:27 am | Reply
  11. zortilo nrel

    Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is so cool. I'm impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What a great web-site.

    February 7, 2021 at 6:54 am | Reply
  12. Dante Tavakoli

    Earn $1000/Day With Our Passive Income System – Best Autopilot income system 2021

    February 6, 2021 at 9:18 am | Reply
  13. Chance Compiseno

    Earn 500 a Day With Our Passive Income System Doing These 3 Steps – Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Setup your Paypal account. Step 3: Run our Unlimited Traffic System from our Free 850 sources of traffic (Approximately 35000 views/day guaranteed). Then in few hours you will start receiving payments without do nothing!

    February 5, 2021 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  14. froleprotrem

    The subsequent time I learn a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I do know it was my option to learn, but I really thought youd have one thing attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you may repair in the event you werent too busy searching for attention.

    February 1, 2021 at 11:15 am | Reply
  15. froleprotrem

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my web site =). We could have a link exchange arrangement between us!

    February 1, 2021 at 10:36 am | Reply
  16. frolep rotrem

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I am quite certain I will learn lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

    February 1, 2021 at 5:39 am | Reply
  17. froleprotrem

    I truly treasure your piece of work, Great post.

    January 31, 2021 at 8:27 am | Reply
  18. Minh Kasprzyk

    great issues altogether, you just received a brand new reader. What may you recommend about your put up that you simply made some days ago? Any positive?

    January 28, 2021 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  19. Lanell Riesinger

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more

    January 27, 2021 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  20. frolep rotrem

    Respect to website author, some great information .

    January 23, 2021 at 11:37 am | Reply
  21. froleprotrem

    I liked as much as you'll obtain performed proper here. The caricature is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be handing over the following. in poor health indubitably come more formerly once more as exactly the same just about very ceaselessly inside of case you protect this hike.

    January 23, 2021 at 10:59 am | Reply
  22. frolep rotrem

    you are really a good webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing. It seems that you're doing any unique trick. Also, The contents are masterwork. you've done a fantastic job on this topic!

    January 23, 2021 at 5:54 am | Reply
  23. Dwain Brauch

    A blog like yours should be earning much money from adsense..-.,”

    January 11, 2021 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  24. make money online today

    Earn 100 commissions of up to 900+ dollars DAILY. 90 Second Set Up – Beta Tested Proven 24-7 AUTOPILOT Income – The Ultimate Work Safe At Home System More details:

    December 26, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  25. vreyrolinomit

    My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    December 23, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  26. vreyrolinomit

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.

    December 22, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  27. vreyrolinomit

    Of course, what a splendid site and enlightening posts, I will bookmark your website.Best Regards!

    December 22, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  28. zortilonrel

    I will right away grab your rss feed as I can't in finding your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you've any? Kindly permit me understand so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    December 20, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  29. Larry Kier

    i like to buy children toys that are educational too, in this way, your kids can learn by playing”

    December 20, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  30. zortilo nrel

    Hello there, You've done a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I'm confident they'll be benefited from this web site.

    December 18, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  31. zortilo nrel

    I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Reading this information So i’m happy to convey that I've an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to don’t forget this website and give it a look regularly.

    December 17, 2020 at 8:25 am | Reply
  32. detectives privados antequera

    detectives privados almuñecar

    December 12, 2020 at 2:06 am | Reply
  33. Warner Nunno

    Really great website, this truly answered some of my questions. Thank you!. If you have a chance check out my website. It's a work in progress, but I assume that someday it will have nearly as good of content as yours.

    December 4, 2020 at 10:32 am | Reply
  34. Ferrari California

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be helpful to read articles from other authors and use a little something from other websites.

    November 25, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  35. Launa

    Useful information. Fortunate me I found
    your web site unintentionally, and I'm stunned why this coincidence didn't
    happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

    October 10, 2014 at 1:13 am | Reply
  36. acsial

    It's time for the CHRISTIAN West to reassess it's pro-Israel position, as well as its involvement in a conflict in this sandpit that has no strategic value. Particularly, we need to take a hard look at Israel's poor treatment of Christians in the region:

    It's time to pull the plug on aid to both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and leave these people to their own devices.

    November 21, 2012 at 2:34 am | Reply
  37. Ino

    We should put a microchip in all the arabs to keep a track of them. The great land of Israel is ONLY for the JEWS.

    November 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Reply
    • BigShiz

      Your just as bad as any Nazi ever was.

      November 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
1 2 3

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.