Reflections on the War on Gaza
This essay looks at the Gaza war of winter 2008–2009 within its broader politico-military context. At the political level, Israel’s post-2005 disengagement policies and initiatives with regard to Gaza (and Egypt) and their implications relative to the future of the West Bank are emphasized. Militarily, in examining the background and objectives of the war, the author gives particular importance to the testing of lessons drawn from the past, especially the summer 2006 war on Lebanon, in the aim of regaining a kind of “Dahiya” deterrence based on reprisals against civilians rather than on battlefield victory.
CAMILLE MANSOUR, a former professor of international relations at the Sorbonne and founder of Birzeit University’s Institute of Law, is a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS). This essay is an expanded version of the author’s preface to Reporters sans frontières, ed., Gaza, le livre noir (Paris: La Découverte, 2009). It was translated from French by Cléa Thouin, editorial assistant at IPS.