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Israeli analyst: Hamas won this round in current war

Israeli military analyst Ben Caspit has said that "it must be recognised that Hamas had won the ongoing round [of the conflict] despite the strong operations of the Israeli army in tunnel destruction," Palestinian news agency SAMA reported on yesterday.

SAMA said Caspit spoke to the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv. To reinforce his opinion, Caspit asked how could an Al-Qassam cell infiltrate the Israeli military watch point of Nahal Oz and kill the Israeli soldiers there even though the tunnel had been previously discovered and destroyed?

He criticised the Israeli leadership saying: "The situation would be different if there had been a real, strong and strict leadership for Israel." That kind of government, he presumed, should have the support of the international community. "But the current leadership does not have all of these things," he said.

The analyst said that the press conference held by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon, in which they announced the expansion of the war, made the Qassam leader Mohamed Al-Deif laugh and gave him the pretext to continue targeting Israel.

"I hope that the press conference was not meant to communicate a message of deterrence to the Hamas leadership," he explained, "because Israel has been receiving one slap after another over the last few days."

He continued: "If I were Netanyahu, I would have called the full ministerial council to meet, not only the reduced security members. This is no longer a normal operation. It is becoming a national scandal." He accused Netanyahu of making the US an enemy instead of being a "strategic friend".

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