As the Israel-Hamas war crosses 27 days with over 8,000 lives lost in Gaza alone, it’s clear that the two sides are not evenly matched. The Israel Defence Force has mobilised 300,000 reserves while banking on a $23 billion defense budget and more coming in every day from the US. It also has the best of Israeli equipment including the formidable Merkava tank and the fighting skills of the Israeli soldier.
Hamas, while much smaller at about 20,000 fighters, has demonstrated its ability to suprise, shock and blindside the Israelis, using older technologies and equipment, an intelligently constructed tunnel network and the grit and fanaticism of its fighters.
So what weapons does Hamas have? In the recent attack, Hamas used precision-guided missiles, drones for surveillance and quadcopters capable of dropping munitions. Israeli intelligence estimated that the total number of rockets available to Hamas in Gaza was about 30,000, courtesy Iran and Syria.
Israel also fields the Iron Dome air defense system but it may have been less effective in dealing with the barrage of Iranian-made Fateh-110 missiles fired by Hamas from locations all over Gaza.Are the Israelis guity of overkill: the 8000 killed in Gaza has prompted Amnesty International to warn against the use of white phosphorus bombs that cause severe burns. Israel has denied using white phosporous but if the evidence is out there, Tel Aviv could be guilty of war crimes. The risk of a larger war in the region remains the longer Israel remains in Gaza and the Palestinian death toll mounts.