What the Conflict with Hamas Taught Israel About a Possible War with Iran

Israel's warplanes and Iron Dome anti-rocket missiles have been facing south for eight days, but their message was heard loud and clear to the north -- by leaders in Iran and Lebanon. 
The fighting against Hamas in Gaza, carried out by mostly missiles and planes, can be seen as a war game for what could happen if Israel moved to take out Iran's nuclear program, a much larger action that could result in both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran firing rockets toward Tel Aviv.

And violent as it has been, one Israeli general described Hamas, when comparing its might to Hezbollah and Iran, as a rain drop in a storm.

In other words, there's worse to come if Israel attacks Iran, much worse.

So, what, if any, lessons did Israel learn that can be applied to Iran?

Homefront

The most obvious concerns the endurance of Israel's "homefront," which is simply a military, dehumanizing term for "the people." Verdict: good.  

There were almost no complaints by the people that they had to spend so long in bomb shelters. Southern towns like Ofakim, Ashkelon, Beer Sheva and even Ashdod closer to the center were attacked about a 150 times each in seven days. That means the people rushed to their shelters as the sirens wailed on average 21 times a day.

Yet despite the discomfort and fear, most people did not call for an end to Israel's assault on Gaza. They wanted it to last as long as necessary to stop all rockets from Gaza in the future.

Iron Dome

The Iron Dome, Israel's home-made anti-rocket missile system, Israel's key defense against rockets from Gaza prevented carnage. Verdict: Very good with an official hit rate of 84 percent.

According to Israeli army figures, Islamist militants in Gaza fired 1,506 rockets at Israel in eight days. Eight hundred and seventy-five fell harmlessly into open areas like fields and the sea. The Iron Dome is programmed to let those alone and to intercept only rockets that would hit urban areas.


SOURCE: Martin Fletcher, NBC News
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