The Israeli attack on Hamas forces in Gaza on December 27th, hit fifty
targets within 220 seconds. The fifty Israeli aircraft assembled off the coast,
and delivered a well rehearsed attack designed to take out Hamas targets before
key commanders could get away. Israeli intelligence had discovered Hamas plans for such an Israeli attack, which
involved key Hamas personnel immediately
dispersing to hiding places. These included hospitals, where the Hamas men
would dress in staff uniforms and blend in. Other safe havens included nursery
schools, and other places where the Hamas officials would be surrounded by lots
of civilians at all times. Thus the tight timing for the Israeli attack,
intended to catch the key Hamas personnel before they could disperse.
that the Israelis have an informant network in Gaza. The key to Israeli success
in dealing with Palestinian terrorists has always been an informant network
within the Palestinian community. Many of these Palestinian informants are
doing it for the money. Israelis pay for information. They also use other
inducements (help with the bureaucracy, medical care, etc). If that fails, they
use blackmail and threats. Palestinian terrorist organizations have been
unsuccessful in their attempts to shut down the informant networks, and many
innocent Palestinians have died simply because they were falsely accused of
the Israelis gain a lot of information via electronic intelligence work and
UAVs that are constantly in the air over Gaza. Israel seeks to make the
terrorists think that it's the gadgets, not informants, gathering the
information. To the Israelis, inducing paranoia among the Palestinians is seen
as a successful weapon. All this has helped keep the terrorists out of Israel
for nearly five years now, something no one thought was possible.
also have hundreds of police and military operatives who can pass as Arabs
(their families came from Arab countries shortly after Israel was founded in
1947). These Israelis speak fluent Arabic (with a Palestinian accent), in
addition to their Arab appearance. These
agents dress as Palestinians and enter Palestinian areas to recruit and run
Palestinian informants. At least in the West Bank. In Gaza, the Israelis use
pro-Fatah Palestinians. At least a third of the Gaza population is still
pro-Fatah, and continued Hamas pressure has not changed that.
also make use of the phone system to avoid civilian casualties. For example,
the bombing campaign after the initial attack was directed mostly at the
thousands of rockets Hamas had stockpiled. Most of these were stored in
civilian housing. This was a technique pioneered by Hezbollah in Lebanon.
There, some homes would have a basement excavated, to provide more space for
rockets. Israeli intelligence is still identifying these storage locations.
When one is found, the Israelis will phone the home just before the attack and
tell the civilians they have a few minutes to get out before the place blows up.
In at least one case, the civilians were defiant, and went to the roof,
believing that the Israelis would not bomb with women and children in plain
sight. In response, the Israeli fighter came in low and fired some 20mm cannon
shells right next to the building. The panicked civilians fled the building and
the place blew up shortly thereafter.