This essay looks at the Gaza war of winter 2008–2009 within its broader politico-military context. At the political level, Israel’s post-2005 disengagement policies and initiatives with regard to Gaza (and Egypt) and their implications relative to the future of the West Bank are emphasized. Militarily, in examining the background and objectives of the war, the author gives particular importance to the testing of lessons drawn from the past, especially the summer 2006 war on Lebanon, in the aim of regaining a kind of “Dahiya” deterrence based on reprisals against civilians rather than on battlefield victory.

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