How Israel’s targeted killings were consistent with its strategy: Part 4

Photograph: 'Views of Jerusalem' / Flickr
Photograph: 'Views of Jerusalem' / Flickr

Alex concludes his verdict on the implications, successes and failures of Israel’s policy of targeted killings…

From a Realist perspective the negative implications of the assassination campaign on Israel’s national interests are negligable when considering that the subsequent rise of Hamas in Gaza had the effect of undermining the bargaining position of the Palestinian authority. Moreover it is worth noting that with the rise of a new generation of Hamas leaders and its take-over of government, the nature of the group‘s attacks changed, with the number of suicide bombings against Israelis decreasing.

Part of the reason for this lower level of violence is that due to its seizure of power it has become possible for Israel to isolate Hamas within the Gaza-strip. Since then security checkpoints have helped to prevent suicide bombers from entering Israeli areas. These findings suggest that the TK campaign and subsequent rise of Hamas in Gaza did not contradict the long-term interests of Israel’s right-wing government. Hence, the assassination of Ayash and Hamas’ doxycycline pharmacy online core leadership were allegedly not as Western observers have suggested: the product of a flawed Israeli decision-making culture; but rather, brutally calculated moves.

Realistically, Israel cannot have any interest in contributing to a two-state solution, as this would in effect require it to abandon its settlements in the West Bank, which would in turn antagonize the electorate. However, the rise of Hamas had the effect of balancing power and inciting further divisions among Palestinian factions which would eventually culminate in the outbreak of a civil war and the division of the Palestinian Authority in 2007. For this reason Israel’s application of TKs was consistent with its grand strategy of ‘dividing and ruling’ the Palestinian independence movement. The logic being simply to prevent the growing number of Palestinians from speaking in a unified voice. Accordingly: the rise of a terrorist group in Gaza provides Israel with the ultimate pretext to deny the Palestinians their right to independence for the sake of the Israeli security state.

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Alex Beck 8 Articles
Alex is a history student from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is of German-Iranian descent and has written about foreign policy analysis and strategic studies.

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