The Israeli-Palestinian conflict highlights that technology and strength determine victory and defeat

The Palestinians and Israelis ceased fire in the early hours of May 22. The conflict began with Hamas taking the lead in rocket attacks on May 9, which were brilliantly intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system, and the Israeli Air Force quickly launched massive air strikes, hitting Hamas commanders, rocket launch systems and more with precision. In less than two weeks, the winner was quickly seen, with technology and strength once again dominating the battle.

Disparity in Military Power

Israel, with the greater advantage, actually decided when to cease fire. A week after the Israeli airstrikes, Hamas was out of its depth and had to seek a ceasefire. Israel rejected the first ceasefire mediation and Hamas’ terms, and did not accept the ceasefire until it had largely completed strikes on its main targets, which Hamas immediately and unconditionally accepted.

According to the Israeli military’s briefing, Hamas and other organizations have fired some 4,340 rockets into Israel, with some 640 actually landing in the Gaza Strip, and it is impossible to confirm exactly how many Palestinians were wounded. Of the remaining approximately 3,700 rockets, 90 percent were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, with the missed rockets killing approximately ten Israelis.

Israel launched more than 820 air strikes in the first week, mainly against ground targets, removing more than 130 Hamas military personnel, particularly multiple commanders, weapons manufacturers, intelligence officers and others.

In the second week, Israeli war reports leaked attacks on 430 Hamas rocket launchers, including above-ground and underground facilities.

Hamas’s attacks, dominated by indiscriminate rocket fire, were unable to hit Israeli forces with precision, actually harmed civilians more, and drew condemnation from Western nations. Hamas has also attempted to launch sporadic ground harassment, but was quickly defeated by Israel. Israel has intercepted most of the rockets and countered with targeted precision airstrikes; Hamas has no active defense and its main military personnel should be more underground or mingling in residential areas to avoid Israeli airstrikes.

Israel has both an efficient Iron Dome system as a shield and a spear for precision airstrikes; Hamas’ rockets are only blunt-edged and may injure its own people, while having no shield, and a large number of Palestinian civilians are actually used as human shields. With essentially no head-to-head encounters between the two armies, there was really little doubt of victory or defeat.

Israel wins the battle and respect again

Israel’s Iron Dome system is the primary credit, disabling most of Hamas’ attacks. The Israeli Air Force deserves the second most credit. The IAF currently has at least 27 F-35I stealth multi-role fighters, with a total of 50 on order, equipped with a variety of homegrown avionics and weapons systems; it also has 59 F-15 multi-role fighters (41 operational and 18 training) and 223 F-16 multi-role fighters (175 operational and 48 training). These elite fourth- and fifth-generation fighters probably rank among the top 5 of any air force in the world; Israeli pilots are also feared to be close to the U.S. Air Force in terms of real-world combat experience.

Of course, Hamas does not have an air force; Israel dominates the skies, and Hamas does not even have anti-aircraft missiles, nor does it appear to deploy anti-aircraft fire. The real difficulty for the Israeli air force is how to be able to strike Hamas commanders, military personnel and facilities with precision and with as little harm to civilians as possible. Western countries support Israel’s self-defense, but at the same time are extremely concerned about this.

The precision-guided bombs and missiles dropped by the Israeli Air Force did just that. According to the Israeli military, the air strikes were preceded by phone calls and text messages informing residents to evacuate and first dropped roof bombs, which only damaged the roof and produced a loud explosion to warn residents to flee.

Precise strikes are predicated on accurate intelligence. Over the years, Israeli intelligence officers should have been able to keep track of Hamas’s strongholds and the movements of key figures, especially underground facilities known as “tunnels,” including rocket launchers, command posts and network and communications equipment hidden in civilian houses.

According to figures released by the Israeli military, at least 1,250 precision bombs or missiles must have been dropped. Israel’s own Heron drones are also supposed to have participated in surveillance, intelligence gathering and battle results assessment.

Israel’s technological strength is partly based on self-innovation, such as the Iron Dome system, advanced airborne avionics and air strike weapons, and partly from its ally, the United States. Israel’s economic strength also backs up its military strength, with Israel’s 2020 GDP of approximately $389.27 billion, a per capita GDP of approximately $42,259.4, and a defense budget of $16.6 billion.

Israel has 170,000 active military personnel and 465,000 reservists, so it can quickly mobilize and enter a state of readiness for war, and it has fought all the neighboring countries in the past years of war, ensuring a solid place of survival in the Middle East. No one in the Middle East is really willing to go to war with Israel at the moment.

The Principle of Strength Applies Worldwide

On May 17, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the United Nations that he “is a sincere friend of the Palestinian people” and “urges both sides to immediately cease military and hostile actions, including air strikes and ground attacks. Stop actions that exacerbate the situation, including air strikes, ground attacks and rocket fire. Israel in particular should exercise restraint.”

On May 18, Xinhua also continued to light the fire, saying that “if the Palestinian issue is not resolved justly at its root, the deadly cycle of fighting violence with violence will continue.” After the May 21 ceasefire, Xinhua only said that the Palestinian-Israeli military conflict had pressed the “the pause button”, “the smoke has cleared does not mean that peace can be expected”, “Palestine and Israel still face the risk of reigniting the war in the future”; “although the war has stopped for a while It remains to be seen how long the ceasefire will last and when the next large-scale military conflict between the two sides will take place” and “in the long run, the two sides will still struggle on the ‘old road’ of fighting and stopping”. Xinhua went so far as to use the words of a Chinese Communist Party expert to say that “the Hamas side’s ammunition stockpile is depleted.”

On May 23, Xinhua reported, “Palestine warns Israel not to escalate again,” turning it into a complete sounding board for Hamas. On May 24, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said he would work with Norway, Tunisia and France to issue a Security Council presidential press statement on the Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire, endorsing Egypt and other regional countries, the United Nations, and the “Quartet” on the Middle East, in an attempt to leave behind the United States, the main mediator.

On May 24, Xi Jinping spoke with Iranian President Rouhani by phone and expressed his willingness to strengthen communication and cooperation with the Iranian side to promote a Palestinian settlement.

The contrast in power between the Chinese Communist Party’s military and the U.S. and Western alliance is similar to that between Hamas and Israel; the failure of the Chinese Communist Party to encourage Hamas to stir up trouble shows that the Chinese Communist Party’s insouciant provocations and hegemony are also doomed to failure. Once again, countries should see that the strategy of promoting peace through strength is still the most effective in the face of the aggressive Chinese Communist Party.