Although Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon shied away from the word “success” in aasessing the results of Operation Protective Edge on Monday, he did confirm earlier reports that most of the Hamas rocket arsenal — an estimated 80 percent — had been put out of commission.
Yaalon, speaking at the Begin-Sadat center at Bar-Ilan University, told a conference that Hamas’s military capabilities had been seriously downgraded, and that it was politically damaged, as well.
Hamas attacked Israel “out of distress,” Yaalon contended. “[Gaza] is isolated, politically and territorially,” adding that its calls to lift the blockade have less to do with Israel’s restrictions, and more to do with “Egypt’s change in leadership.”
Egypt, under recently-elected President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has indeed moved to isolate Hamas, an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was ousted by al-Sisi.
In addition to closing the Rafah border crossing and essentially imposing a siege on Gaza, Egypt has also sealed most of the smuggling tunnels that are used to transport fuel and goods from Sinai, but also weapons and terrorists.
Yaalon also told the gathering that the IDF killed”40 senior Hamas officials and 10 from Islamic Jihad.