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Thread: Gaza, Israel & Rockets (merged thread)

  1. #1
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Rockets from Gaza and the wider effects

    Moderator's Note

    A new thread has been created for this developing conflict in the volatile Middle East. To my surprise there is not a thread on the previous Gaza (Hamas) -v- Israel conflict in December 2008 to January 2009. More on Post No.5.

    Update January 2015: a small thread Mowing the Gaza lawn has been merged here, it referred to the Israeli-Gaza conflict after rocket attacks mainly in 2014. The thread has been renamed 'Gaza, Israel & Rockets (merged thread). There is a separate thread on Hamas. (ends)


    When the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) this week began taking military action in the Gaza strip against Hamas (as the IDF announced on Twitter), Anonymous declared its own war as part of #OpIsrael. Among the casualties are thousands of email addresses and passwords, hundreds of Israeli Web sites, government-owned as well as privately owned pages, as well as databases belonging to the Bank of Jerusalem and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/1...n=social+media
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-05-2015 at 05:54 PM. Reason: Add note & PM to author. Updated note!
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
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    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    I wonder if the Twitter and Youtube war spawned that action.

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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Rockets from Gaza and the wider effects

    [Video] Third attack on central city in three days intercepted by fifth Iron Dome battery, deployed in Gush Dan earlier in the day; Palestinian terrorists fire 740 rockets into Israel since start of operation.
    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=292277
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Twitter does seem to be center stage
    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23OpIsrael&src=hash

    The hacking spree, dubbed OpIsrael and begun early Thursday, has resulted in so many Israeli Web sites being defaced or shut down through methods including denial of service (DoS) attacks, that it's hard to keep count. However, some enterprising hacktivists have begun compiling lists of affected Web sites. Targets have included governmental, retail, and business sites -- some belonging to the automotive and fashion industries.

    The Bank of Jerusalem, one of Israel's largest financial institutions, has received particular attention from the hacktivists -- as the cyberattackers crowed on Twitter about deleting the organization's online database. Access to the bank's Web site has been spotty. Trying to access it yesterday afternoon resulted in nothing more than a database error, and though the site reappeared, it seemed to be offline again this morning.

    Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site also appeared on Friday to have been attacked and its database either deleted or tampered with. The Web site seemed to be back up and running this morning.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-575...est-over-gaza/
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Rockets from Gaza and the wider effects

    A new thread has been created for this developing conflict in the volatile Middle East. To my surprise there is not a thread on the previous Gaza (Hamas) -v- Israel conflict in December 2008 to January 2009.

    There is a long running thread, from 2006, 'Hamas in Gaza (merged thread)', which should give some background:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=6020

    Elsewhere on the Web is ample coverage, such as Stratfor's briefings and on KoW a comment by an IDF veteran on being defensive:http://kingsofwar.org.uk/2012/11/sec...fensive-means/

    Rightly AdamG has pointed out the cyber aspects, with a reported campaign by Anonymous against Israeli websites plus.

    KoW tries to grapple with the role or failure of deterence:http://kingsofwar.org.uk/2012/11/deterrence/
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

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    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    The current war has given the Iron Dome a lot of media exposure. With it came rather simplistic calculation likely based this Wiki article and other similar sources:

    Cost

    In 2010, Iron Dome was criticized by Reuven Pedatzur, a military analyst, former fighter pilot and professor of political science at Tel Aviv University[79] for costing too much compared to the cost of a Qassam rocket (fired by Palestinian forces), so that launching very large numbers of Qassams could essentially attack Israel's financial means.[80] The estimated cost of each Tamir interceptor missile is US$35,000–50,000[16] whereas a crudely manufactured Qassam rocket costs around $800.[81] Rafael responded that the cost issue was exaggerated since Iron Dome intercepts only rockets determined to constitute a threat, and that the lives saved and the strategic impact are worth the cost.[82]
    A key flaw is to use a simple 'perfect' market model with only price interacting with supply and demand. The crude Qassams and other Gaza-made rockets need a basic infrastructure and human, technological and raw ressources to manufacture, store, deploy and fire. Rockets smuggled in from abroad, including those who hit Tel Aviv have to come in through narrow supply lines including especially the bottlenecks of the tunnels and are harder to store & deploy due to their bigger size and weight. Obviously Israel targets many element along this supply & command chain.

    Israel has also limited ressources but vastly greater ones then those found in the Gaza strip, especially with additional U.S funding and arguably even more importantly, access to the world market.

    Of course there are far more to the issue, but I just wanted to state the obvious, which doesn't seem always to be so.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

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    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Two points to ponder

    One of the more interesting aspects in this crisis is how Hamas assembled long range, indeed any rockets in Gaza. I am not a technical expert on such weapons, but do wonder what are the components of rocket fuel? IIRC Israel is the supplier of all fuels to Gaza.

    The second issue is the view of at least one UK analyst that Egypt has little control over the Sinai, so smuggling weapons is easy, although getting them across the border is difficult. After the change of regime and the clashes with "extremists" did Egyptian priorities change from border security to internal security?
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    I wrote a rather long post with many quotes about the effectivness but sadly it got somehow lost. In any case it noteworthy that the rocket attacks in the North in 2006 were generally far more lethal per rocket then in the South between 2001 and 2008. According to various papers the RPF, rocket per fatality, averaged roughly 70 compared to 250 in the South.

    In the first phase of the rocket campaign out of Gaza the RPF was much lower but then the arms race of raised it many times. Measures like shelters and early warning seemed to come out rather favourably against increased rocket capability. However according to Uzi Rubin the rocket attacks during Cast Lead achieved a new quality, with Grads with improved range being used to a high degree and attacking new targets much deeper into Israel. The RPF in that timeframe shrank to a 100.

    Iron Dome came in around 2011 and during this year heavier rockets from Gaza increasingly targeted the Israeli homeland, but the RPF increased to 280. In 2012 the RPF averaged 300 during the two crisis.

    Overall the whole story shows that it is all but trivial to come to a conclusion based on the RPF alone. If the numbers are correct it certainly shows that the first rockets against fresh targets tend to have a far higher RFB, which was knocked down by various defense measures and better public response. This is very visible in the graphic which maps the RPF over the 2001-2007 timeframe.

    A shift in the type of rockets used during Cast Lead in 2008, among them longer ranged Grads put far more people in danger and enabled the attack of fresh, deep targets. Coupled with a higher payloud this led the RPF plummet to a 100. A similar approach with Iron Dome in place cost far lives with the RPF tripling.

    There are lots of ifs and buts and ever changing circumstances make direct comparisions very fuzzy but a high rate of success of Iron Dome would fit rather well with that change in RPF. I hope that we won't get a big additional sample in the future.

    I will leave it there for now.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  10. #10
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    One of the more interesting aspects in this crisis is how Hamas assembled long range, indeed any rockets in Gaza. I am not a technical expert on such weapons, but do wonder what are the components of rocket fuel? IIRC Israel is the supplier of all fuels to Gaza.
    Few years ago (that was even before the Op Cast Lead in 2009-2010 period, a pal of mine did a study of Palestinian 'home-made' rockets deployed against Israel.

    Construction: the fuel, i.e. propellant was a mixture of dextrose and fertilizer (often siphoned from Israeli aid donations), which was first melted and then cast into a PVC tube. After curing, the PVC tube was cut and the finished motor then inserted into the rocket's main body. The fuse was constructed and stored separately, and attached only shortly before the launch. There were huge variations between different rockets, and it remains unknown if any of their users ever used PCs for their construction, or if there were at least blueprints for them.

    The reason so little is known about these rockets is: not only the Israelis, but especially the usual media couldn't care less about their construction and origin. It started already with the fact that nearly 80% of rockets fired at Israel (in total) were not fired by Hamas, not even by groups under Hamas' control. Surely, it was the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades of the Hamas that started manufacturing and firing such weapons, back in 2001. They manufactured three major 'types' of rockets - including the name-provider for this entire 'class' of weapons - too.

    But, already by 2005 or so, the PFLP, Popular Resistance Committees (Nasser Brigades), Palestinian Islamic Jihad (al-Quds Brigades), Fatah (al-Aqsa and Abu al-Rish Brigades), Fatah al-Islam etc. were constructing their own weapons and firing majority (nearly 100% as of 2009) of rockets that hit Israel.

  11. #11
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    The reason so little is known about these rockets is: not only the Israelis, but especially the usual media couldn't care less about their construction and origin. It started already with the fact that nearly 80% of rockets fired at Israel (in total) were not fired by Hamas, not even by groups under Hamas' control. Surely, it was the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades of the Hamas that started manufacturing and firing such weapons, back in 2001. They manufactured three major 'types' of rockets - including the name-provider for this entire 'class' of weapons - too.

    But, already by 2005 or so, the PFLP, Popular Resistance Committees (Nasser Brigades), Palestinian Islamic Jihad (al-Quds Brigades), Fatah (al-Aqsa and Abu al-Rish Brigades), Fatah al-Islam etc. were constructing their own weapons and firing majority (nearly 100% as of 2009) of rockets that hit Israel.
    Interesting information. It seems that quite a few smart people were surprised by the speed with which the rocket capability increased in Gaza after 2001. Technology transfer, imports of parts and whole pieces, learning curves and more capital investment should all have play a role.

    The high likely strong impact of Iron Dome especially against targets deeper inside Israel did quickly result in CCM. According to an interview of Uzi Rubin one attack in August 2011 on Beersheba involved saturation achieved by the practically simultaneous firing of nine rockets from a single launcher. One got through.

    Saturation is of course a classical approach to counter missile defense systems but the non-standard nature of the projectiles and launcher should make for bigger differences in acceleration, drag, etc and spread out the rockets in time and space by a relative large margin. I guess that near simultaneous time-on-target is rather difficult to achieve for dispersed units and should only be doable by close ones. MLRS are one way but carry the penalty of bulk. The Hezbollah approach with very well camouflaged bunkers contained fixed MLRS units could pose problems as such saturation attacks can be well planned and prepared ahead.

    The arms race continues, and as CvC put it, violence continues to arm itself with the innovations of art and science.
    Last edited by Firn; 01-13-2014 at 08:16 PM.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Mowing the Gaza lawn

    SWC often finds discussions around Israel / Palestine heated, but what is happening cannot be ignored.

    The title is adapted from the first article I read today. 'Mowing the lawn' IIRC comes from the British officer Mark Evison killed in Helmand Province.

    I found this LRB article written I assume by an Arab in Beirut quite informative as a "broad brush":http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n15/mouin-r...-mows-the-lawn

    The second is from the Israeli paper Haartz, which asks if this limited campaign is sliding into a war and gives a vivid insight into combat:http://www.haaretz.com/mobile/.premi...C8549841FF49CF

    Hat tip to Shashank Joshi, of RUSI, for his alert to both.

    AM today BBC Radio 4 had an IDF spokesman announce that two groups of Hamas fighters had emerged from tunnels into Isreal and had been killed. Video included here:http://eaworldview.com/2014/07/israe...liest-day-far/

    Watching some film footage yesterday I was puzzled that not oen armed Palestinian was seen, nor anyone in uniform - except the ambulance crews.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-21-2014 at 11:20 AM.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    To a large extent I lost any passionate interest in the whole Israel/Palestine thing years ago because it seems it will never end. It will never end because the primary battleground, American public opinion, is thoroughly and wholly owned by Israel. The Palestinians who have very many legitimate and compelling grievances don't even try to contest that ground. If they did they would have a good chance to prevail but they don't even try.

    What I mean by that the Palestinians insist on using violence to confront Israel. This is foolish because they can never hope to inflict more violence upon Israel that can be inflicted upon them and more importantly, it does nothing to curry the favor of the American public. In fact the sight of young men with their faces covered marching around waving Kalashnikovs positively scares people over here, as does the sight of unguided rockets being launched in waves. But the Palestinians keep doing that kind of thing regardless. The only thing I can think of as to why is it is more fun to do that than it is to win.

    And they can win American public opinion. They can do it by going completely non-violent and doing so on a massive scale. Imagine if 5000 Palestinian mothers with babes in arms and toddlers in tow marched on some kind of Israeli checkpoint and demanded that they wanted some kind of foodstuff or supplies and would not leave until they got them. If they kept doing that day after day week after week eventually the fawning American media would have to dig into the whys and the tide would begin to turn. No more suicide bombers, no more kidnappers, no more rockets, no more masked young men strutting. Only women, children and the best spoken Palestinians who speak English with an American accent on TV.

    But they won't do it. Strategically the Palestinians are the only people on the face of the earth dumber than the Israelis.

    Also given the number of killed and wounded the Israelis have suffered so far, it seems Hamas has learned something since 2006 and 2012. That is interesting, especially given that SWJ started out as Urban Operations Journal.
    Last edited by carl; 07-21-2014 at 05:41 PM.
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    "The Palestinians who have very many legitimate and compelling grievances don't even try to contest that ground."

    No, they actually don't. It's a farce.

    Do they care?
    No they do not.

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CloseDanger View Post
    "The Palestinians who have very many legitimate and compelling grievances don't even try to contest that ground."

    No, they actually don't. It's a farce.
    No, they actually don't what, don't have legitimate and compelling grievances or don't try to contest the ground?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    They have perceived grievance. Nothing legitimate. Arab marauders expelled from Jordan have no right to anything there.

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Perceived is real to the people doing the perceiving and they will act upon that. So that perception is the reality that must be worked with. I happen to think they do have many real grievances. You think they do not. Our opinion doesn't really matter since the Palestinians think they do and have acted upon that for decades and show no signs of giving it up.

    But that is beside the point I am trying to make. My point is the way the Palestinians are pursuing their goals. They do not see the critical importance of swaying American public opinion and therefore do not tailor their actions accordingly. That is unwise.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    A useful information source are the regular reports from the Israeli 'Terrorism Information Center'; this is to their latest bulletin:http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en/article/20679
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    I won't comment on conflict as I had no time to inform myself, but it looking back it is, as often, hard to determine where the current one began. Lots of small incremental steps and some bigger ones. In any case it is a terrible bloodshed.

    I was surprised by the sudden increase in IDF casualities, and suspected that at least one large single event contributed.

    This won’t be the only comparison with the second Lebanon War of 2006. There are concerns in Gaza, as there were in Lebanon, that the operation will slide, unplanned and with no method, into a much larger operation than that conceived by its planners. Preliminary investigations in Gaza also reveal some hair-raising operational flaws. The first one relates to the means placed at the disposal of army units. The seven soldiers killed by a rocket-propelled grenade were travelling in an M-113 armored personnel carrier, used by the Americans in Vietnam and by the IDF since the 1970s.

    In 2004, after two explosions in such vehicles took 11 lives in the Gaza Strip, it was decided not to use them anymore there. Veteran commanders, who describe the vehicle as a ‘flammable sardine can’ vulnerable even to small arms fire, were alarmed to learn that it had been despatched there again. Questions also arise with regard to the crowding of dozens of soldiers from Golani’s reconnaissance battalion in the house that was hit by rockets. This is one more example of flawed decisions, following the mishap on Saturday, in which an Armored Corps officer and soldier were killed by Hamas fighters emerging from a tunnel.
    Of course you fight with what you have, so it is likely that they had no Namer available. People like Ken supported the adoption of that type of vehicle for amored brigades, in this thread and others.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

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    Let me add my 2 cents.

    Palestinians are appealing to Arab/Muslim public opinion, not American public opinion. No matter how powerful the US is today, it won't be always around the Middle-east. It has to leave one day.

    The Muslim World isn't going anywhere.

    I live in Nigeria, far away from Israel. The 80 million strong Muslim community in Nigeria is passionate about Palestinians - can US/Israel keep up the cycle of Apache helicopter attacks over the next generation?

    How many more years can Israel be at "perpetual war" with it's neighbours? 50, 100? At some point Israelis will tire & their Arab Muslim neighbours aren't going anywhere.

    Israel needs peace more than the Palestinians do. It is that simple.

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