Risks escalating in well-planned Hamas assault on Israel: analysts

SpaceWar.com reports: “The surprise assault by Hamas against Israel was a meticulously planned offensive that the Palestinian militant group is capable of keeping up, with a risk of even greater escalation, analysts say.

Hamas can count on a deep arsenal of rockets to use against Israel but key questions include how much support it has received from Iran, which has expressed its backing for the offensive, and whether the Tehran-backed Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah will enter the fray.

More than 700 Israelis have been killed in the country’s worst losses since the 1973 Yom Kippur war — when it was also caught flat-footed by a combined Egyptian and Syrian attack — and over 400 Palestinians slain as Israel presses a relentless bombardment of Hamas’ Gaza stronghold.

‘It was a huge failure on the Israeli side and a huge achievement for Hamas,’ said Kobi Michael, senior researcher at the Tel-Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies (INSS).

‘In order to launch such an operation, you have to do a lot of preparation, planning, coordination and you have to have a very meaningful, significant, essential strategic prospect or objective that you are seeking to achieve,’ he added, emphasising that Hamas ‘knows the price of such an operation will be very high.’…”

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