US Think Tank to Israel: Stop ‘Mowing the Lawn’ in Gaza

In “Disarmament of Gaza” study, Israeli experts say it is necessary and possible to disarm Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups.

By JNS | | Topics: Gaza, Hamas
Hamas members attend a rally in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip, May 30, 2021. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.
Hamas members attend a rally in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip, May 30, 2021. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.

The Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum think tank has released a strategy paper challenging Israel’s reactive “mow the lawn” policy for the Gaza Strip, instead presenting a path for a proactive and comprehensive Israeli victory.

In “Disarmament of Gaza,” Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser calls on Israel to rid itself of the terrorist threat by disarming Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups and demonstrating conclusively the cost of threatening Israel.

Kuperwasser, a former head of IDF Military Intelligence Directorate’s research division and director general of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs, outlines a series of initiatives, including:

Militarily: Operating from the air, sea and ground using “intelligence intensified warfare” (LOCHAMAM is its Hebrew acronym) against the ruling and operational infrastructure in Gaza, as it does in Syria, with no immunity for Hamas leaders.

Economically: Conditioning money and economic assistance on Hamas ending all efforts to arm itself and attack Israel.

Culturally: Completely curbing indoctrination of hate and incitement to violence against Jews and Israel, in school textbooks, mosques and media.

“Israel has ceded the initiative to the rulers of Gaza, seeking the longest possible intervals of relative calm between major eruptions of violence,” said Kuperwasser. “This permits Hamas continually to improve its capabilities and arm itself with more sophisticated systems. Israel needs a new, decisive strategy forcing Hamas to accept rules that rid Israel of this threat.”

Zvi Hauser, former chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, writes in his introduction to the strategy paper: “Some doubt the possibility of disarming Hamas, thinking this either not feasible or that it would exact an intolerable cost to Israel.”

They are wrong, as the IDF’s “Operation Defensive Shield” offensive in Judea and Samaria in 2002 proved that “Israel can destroy terror infrastructure in densely populated areas at a much lower human cost than initially feared.”

Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes added, “Because Israel’s security establishment relies on Hamas to keep order in Gaza, it desists from defanging the organization.”