The pillbox incident which claimed the lives of five IDF soldiers on Tuesday leaves me shaken.
They were in a lookout tower facing Gaza. They left both the compound gate and the entrance door open.
Repeat -- based on an enemy video -- both doors we're left open. No one on our side is disclaiming.
It was Mohammad Deif who introduced the propaganda video of this incident.
When Hamas tunnel commandos crawled out of their hole, literally, they had easy access to the pillbox. The gate was open. And the door was open.
The soldiers had no apparent supervision. They were not experienced combat soldiers; they'd been taken out of a course to man this post. But they were soldiers and they were surprised from behind at Nahal Oz.
Gaza surveillance is usually carried out by electronic means conducted by well-trained female soldier-specialists.
This tragic incident was a fashla -- a botch up of the first order. Add it to the list of deadly mistakes that deserve to be investigated.
The cabinet meets again. Supposedly the PM and DM are willing to go to ceasefire brokered by Egypt with details to be worked out once the firings stop.
Sounds on the face of it absurd but that's what is being reported.
Israeli reporters keep talking about tunnels destroyed. Hamasniks killed.
Obviously, what matters is the tunnels we didn't destroy yet or don't know about.
What matters is that Hamas command and control is untouched.
We're hearing that Hamas is turning to Egypt, if true, it is significant because Hamas has exceedingly strained relations with Cairo. It is a sign of weakness.
It troubles me that smart Israelis are still waiting for salvation from Mahmoud Abbas. Somehow, they say, he will be part of the Gaza solution, in the long term.
There is zero evidence to backup such a supposition, it is a castle built in the air.
That is why I'm inclined today to conclude--
If this war does not end with Hamas on its last legs -- with Israel's deterrence restored -- the message to Hizbollah, much less Iran, and other enemies in the region will be that Israel does not staying power for The Long War.
The constellation of July 2014, with a non threatening Egypt in the south, a Syria riven by civil war in the noth, a Hezbollah tied down in Syria -- Iraq out of the picture - a non threatening ruler in Jordan, and solid control over Judea and Samaria -- this constellation is unlikely to be with us for the next phase of The Long War.
So, my conclusion is, we need to mobilize this country for retaking the Strip and treating it as a buffer zone in the making until the Hamas military threat is removed.
We will never take Hamas out of the Palestinian heart, but we can take the Hamas bone out of our throat. Now, or maybe, never.