A former colonel in the Israeli Defense Forces – one of the few women to attain that rank – is offering up her take on the recent cease-fire reached with Gaza terrorists. The region, she says, remains volatile despite the accord.
On November 11, an exchange of gunfire erupted during an IDF operational activity in the Gaza Strip, which resulted in hundreds of rockets pouring from skies over the southern border of Israel. Casualties included an Israeli Defense Forces' (IDF) officer and a number of Hamas terrorists, as red alert sirens blasted across southern communities in Israel.
Miri Eisin once served as the head of the combat intelligence corps for the IDF and assistant to the director of Military Intelligence. She tells OneNewsNow: "We do not know much about the activity [in the Gaza Strip], and probably never will. It was suggested that it was supposed to be a clandestine intelligence operation, that for some reason got exposed.
"In the shootout that ensued, a few high ranking Hamas operatives – possibly officers – and PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] operatives were killed, [while] an Israeli lieutenant colonel was killed and another officer seriously wounded."
Eisin explains: "Hamas and PIJ are both Islamic Sunni fundamental organizations, which view terror as a legitimate and preferred way of action. Both of them deny Israel's right to exist. Hamas is an affiliate of the international Muslim Brotherhood Movement, and its origins are the Gaza branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood."
The former IDF intelligence official contends Hamas exhibits a worldview that goes beyond just the destruction of the Jewish nation.
"Apart from fighting Israel and aspiring for its annihilation, Hamas has an overarching view about Palestinian society, aiming to establish a Sunni Muslim Sharia-law abiding national Palestinian state," Eisin says. "As such, it enforces strict Muslim laws in Gaza, where it rules by force as the arch political enemy of Fatah, who controls the PLO and the PA in Ramallah."
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, she continues, doesn't have a "thought-out vision" of the future. "[It] is focused on terror and violence as means for its goal of a Palestinian state replacing Israel," she explains. "It does not aspire to a Muslim caliphate as global jihadists like Al-Qaeda or IS do.
"Although PIJ is Sunni, as the 99 percent of Palestinian Muslims are, it is 100-percent funded by Shiite Iran and is generally viewed as its lackey and proxy. As such, it enjoys the hospitality of the Syrian Assad regime in Damascus, Iranian financial upkeep, military knowhow and munition deliveries."
According to Eisin, the result of a clandestine operation "seems to be the main reason for Hamas and PIJ firing into Israel, and the subsequent Israeli response. Hamas' fire was mainly rockets, but also an anti-tank missile that hit a bus carrying soldiers, seriously wounding one of them.
"IDF initially attacked sources of fire and Hamas military infrastructure in the Gaza periphery" Eisin clarifies. "As the rocket fire increased and more and more Israeli villages were targeted, IDF expanded its retaliation into Hamas assets inside built-up areas, while ensuring as much as possible to limit civilian casualties."
While some reports suggest Israeli soldiers were abducted during the initial operation, Eisin emphatically states, "no Israelis were abducted. The team was successfully extracted from the Gaza Strip."
In addition, Eisin is thankful that despite approximately 500 rockets being fired, casualties have been minimal. "Yet the constant alert, the fear, the sounds and sights of rocket explosion carry a heavy psychological burden, especially on kids," she adds.
Eisin confirms, "a cease-fire was agreed upon [on] November 13, based on Egyptian and U.N. mediation, calling on return to the understandings reached after operation Protective Edge in 2014.
"Though there is a cease-fire," Eisin concludes, "the situation vis-à-vis Gaza remains volatile, as the fundamental situation in Gaza hasn't changed. Hamas is still in a strategic bind and with its back against the wall is looking for ways to improve its situation, not shying from violence if necessary."