After the “Protective Edge” war is over, Prime Minister Netanyahu will need to answer some questions. Here are three of them:
1. Two weeks into the operation, and more than 50 soldiers are dead. That’s more than the two previous operations in Gaza (Cast Lead 2008, Pillar of Defense 2012) and the big operation in the West Bank (Defensive Shield 2002) combined. Why this high death toll?
2. Going in, nobody spoke of the tunnel threat. Now it’s the main focus of the operation. Both the IDF and the government seemed surprised by the number and extent of the tunnels Hamas dug into Israeli territory. How did this threat escape the attention of those in charge?
3. The repeated failed attempts in reaching a ceasefire relied on support from, among others, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the United States. For years, Netanyahu and his government pursued a policy of marginalizing, belittling and indeed ridiculing Abbas as a potential partner. They also managed to sour relations with the Obama administration leading to a distinct low in US-Israel relations. How much damage did this policy do to Israel’s long-term interests?