Ground Offensive Not Resulting In Lasting Resolution
BMI View: The Israeli ground offensive in the Gaza Strip will last less than a month. A ceasefire will not result in a lasting solution to the conflict, and Hamas will remain in control of the Strip. The offensive could lead to radicalisation in Gaza, while the heavy death toll of Palestinian civilians will increase Israel's isolation on the international stage.
We expect the ongoing Israeli 'Operation Protective Edge' military operation against Hamas - the militant group and political party that still effectively rules the Gaza Strip - to end with a ceasefire which will not result in a long-term solution to the conflict. In a major escalation in the 11-day offensive, Israeli tanks and troops entered Gaza on July 17 after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered a ground invasion. Israel will seek to erode Hamas's military capabilities - an objective that it feels cannot be achieved with air and missile strikes alone - and to put pressure on Hamas and other Palestinian groups to accept a ceasefire.
This development was anticipated by BMI. In our most recent analysis of the Israel-Hamas conflict (see 'Israel-Hamas Flare-Up Hitting Financial Markets', July 9), we wrote: 'We see significant risk that the ongoing exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas will escalate into a protracted Israeli air campaign or ground operation in Gaza, despite neither side having much to gain from a further flare-up.'
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