Why Quiet Period in Gaza is Dangerous for Israel

Hamas using relative quiet on Gaza front to upgrade military power for next conflict while Israeli ability to respond is limited.

Arms shipment to Gaza (Archive: IDF/Creative Commons)

The security situation in Gaza has been relatively quiet for some time. While this may seem like good news for Israel, developments behind the scenes are troubling.

Hamas continues to build up its military capabilities for a future conflict, exploiting the lull to work with no interruptions. The IDF is aware of these efforts but Israeli action to stop them is very limited during periods of quiet, journalist Tal Lev-Ram wrote in Maariv daily.

Hamas is constantly engaged in testing and improving its weapons, Lev-Ram said. This includes development of drones, which the group regularly tests within Gaza. The IDF avoids firing at unmanned aircraft that don’t breach Israeli territory, the report said.

Meanwhile, Hamas continues to test-fire rockets into the sea as it improves their range and accuracy. The Gaza terror group also invests in its naval arm as it seeks new ways to infiltrate Israel and carry out high-profile attacks.

Recipe for destructive war

Ironically, the occasional rocket fire from Gaza in previous months was beneficial for Israel, as it enabled the IDF to respond by targeting terror assets. While Israelis often dismiss these retaliatory moves, the cumulative effect is significant.

Over time, the IDF has been able to systematically degrade Hamas capabilities and bomb parts of its weapons development and underground sites. In at least one case, the army attacked an important facility where Hamas was upgrading its rockets.

On Monday, the Navy destroyed a Gaza boat that posed a “potential threat,” but such incidents are rare. As long as the Gaza front is quiet, Hamas will continue to boost its military power, as Israel mostly watches.

The Hamas buildup ensures that the next Gaza war will be more devastating. The IDF previously warned European officials that a future clash will lead to massive destruction. Notably, the army modified its combat doctrine in recent months and plans to take an aggressive approach, aiming for 300 dead terrorists a day.