Israel is being more careful about preventing civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip than the United States was in Iraq and Afghanistan, Haaretz military analyst Amos Harel said Wednesday.
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In an interview with Haaretz.com as Operation Protective Edge entered its ninth day, Harel said that the orders for Israeli commanders on the field in Gaza are strict when there's a chance of hitting civilians and that soldiers need to gain approval from very high up the army echelon if a strike is likely to endanger innocent Palestinians.
"This is not the case for Americans in Afghanistan where the statistics are usually much higher than they are here," he said, "Still, having said that, it will get more and more complicated as we go on - especially if Israel sends in ground forces."
When Hamas significantly stepped up rocket attacks on Israeli cities and towns at the start of July, it was operating with the intention of getting itself "out of a corner" with respect to its financial woes and closed border crossings, said Harel, but now it is "going through the motions" with the hope of trying to achieve more out of a cease-fire agreement than that which Egypt proposed.
The organization is, however, underestimating Israel's capacity to "go all the way," said Harel. "If Hamas continues this kind of force, it could [end up being] very tragic for the Palestinian people."