In the latest Gaza conflict, neither side has 'won'. The ceasefire as it stands does no more than restore a fraught status quo, one that will almost certainly crumble again in the absence of dramatic political shifts in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank.
The ongoing Operation Pillar of Defence is the latest manifestation of Israeli efforts to disarm Hamas of its supply of long range missiles and to demonstrate to Hamas’ leadership the strategic miscalculation of using force to pursue its objectives.
The engagement with Hamas and the subsequent escalation of force after Hamas’s response represents a strategic gamble by the Netanyahu government. While on the tactical level the operation has parallels with Operation Cast Lead, the wider strategic context has changed since 2009.