How is the Gaza war working out for Israel

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It is now 10 weeks since the Israel Defense Forces mounted their first raids against Gaza in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel.

“We are striking our enemies with unprecedented might,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis in a televised address on Friday, Oct. 13.

However, things quickly began to go wrong for the much-vaunted IDF and operation “Swords of Iron.”

The world, which until that moment had felt only sympathy for Israel after the slaughter of its civilians during the Hamas-led rampage, was suddenly confronted with an alternative, equally disturbing narrative. Television screens were filled with footage of weeping, wounded Palestinian children, and scenes of destruction across Gaza.

Since then, global support for Israel’s actions in Gaza has steadily ebbed away, with even the US, its greatest ally, becoming increasingly alarmed at the cost to civilians of the disproportionate use of force.

And, even as the IDF has doubled down on the ferocity of its response, it is failing to achieve many of its stated objectives.

Very few top Hamas commanders have been captured or killed, and only some of the hostages taken by the group on Oct. 7 have been released — and these thanks only to mediation efforts by Qatar and Egypt.

Worse, Israel appears to have lost sight of the principle of proportionate reciprocal justice, enshrined in the Hebrew Bible as “an eye for an eye.”

The latest figures show that on Oct. 7 Hamas killed a total of 1,139 people — 695 of them Israeli civilians, including 36 children, 373 members of the security forces, and 71 foreigners.

According to the latest figures released by the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza, more than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed, of whom around 70 percent are women and children.

The UN reports that many others “are missing, presumably buried under the rubble.” Indeed, critics say the war in Gaza has exposed “Swords of Iron” to be less a precision tool and more an indiscriminately wielded blunt instrument.

That impression was reinforced on Dec. 15 when jittery IDF soldiers gunned down three Israeli hostages who approached them, calling for help in Hebrew and waving a white cloth.

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