Israeli Army: Gaza Invasion Doesn’t Mean to Oust Hamas

Cabinet Eager to Escalate, But Goals Are Unclear

Israeli Army spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner has denied that the ongoing invasion of the Gaza Strip is intended to end with the ouster of the Hamas government, saying that is not at all the goal of the mission.

What is? That’s not so clear. The statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentions efforts to damage underground tunnels from the Gaza Strip into neighboring Israel and Egypt, though it mostly centers on retroactively justifying the invasion, as opposed to defining goals.

That’s largely because the various Gaza Wars, which erupt between Israel and Hamas on a nearly annual basis, just sort of escalate organically, without much serious thought as to the endgame.

Israel’s security cabinet is eager to escalate even further, calling up more troops and planning to vote on more general escalations of the invasion. The political benefits of escalation right now are the primary focus among cabinet members, and goals, to the extent there will ever be any, will be worked out in the future.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.