The group of reservist paratroopers returned all astir: Hamas fought like an army. The comrades of Sergeant-Major (Res.) Ehud Efrati, who fell in a battle in Gaza about two weeks ago, told Amos Harel that “in all parameters, we are facing an army, not gangs.” The soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces were impressed by their enemy’s night vision equipment, the tactical space they kept between one another – and their pants even had elastic bands to make them fit snugly around their boots. This is good news from Gaza.
First, it is good that reservists were sent on this mission because “if these missions were left to the regular soldiers, no one on the home front would understand what’s happening in Gaza,” one of them said. Indeed, the time has come for the soldiers to speak out. But the news the soldiers brought is also encouraging on several other levels. According to their descriptions, a Palestinian Defense Force has emerged. Instead of a rabble of armed gangs, an orderly army is coalescing that is prepared to defend its land. If it makes do with a defensive deployment against Israeli incursions, we will again have no moral claim against them: Hamas is entitled to defend Gaza, just as the IDF is entitled to defend Israel.