Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Up To The Moment, Given The Time Difference

HAARETZ, in Israel, but not blood-thirsty, w/ a wrap-up & analysis.
The diplomatic clock is ticking relatively slowly because both Europe and the United States are all but closed for Christmas and New Year's Day. Meshal has been trying to get the Arab League and Senegal, which holds the rotating chairmanship of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to push for a cease-fire. So far, international criticism of Israel has been relatively muted despite the many Palestinian casualties. Even in the Arab world, not everyone is crying over Hamas' losses.
The biorhythms here are ticking pretty damn slowly too.
Hamas officials and analysts said Monday that the organization would actually like Israel to launch a ground operation; it hopes this would let it inflict such heavy losses on Israeli tanks and infantry that Israel would flee with its tail between its legs.
Ah, the ol' "bog' em down." Literally.
However, ground forces are already in place for the next phase. The Gazan mud will make it harder for tanks and armored personnel carriers to maneuver, and Hamas has clearly been preparing its defense for months. Thus any ground operation will entail many casualties, which is one of the government's considerations in deciding how the operation should proceed.
Oh, what do you know? There is some consideration of something here. Not sure what, though.

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