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“I think the goals of the operation weren’t achieved,” said Shaul Mofaz, head of the centrist Kadima party.
“Israeli citizens expected something else. They expected a reality in which the Israeli army forced a truce on Hamas. Today (Egyptian President Mohamed) Mursi, with U.S. backing, forced Israel to a ceasefire,” he told Channel 1 television.
Netanyahu will put a very different spin on it.
He showed he could work with the Islamist Mursi, thereby shoring up Israel’s sagging relations with Cairo. He also re-invigorated ties with U.S. President Barack Obama, who gave him constant public support despite their famously bad relations.
Moreover, he will point out that he set limited goals when he launched the air offensive last week. He never vowed to topple Hamas, but rather promised to cripple its infrastructure.
Although the Israeli military has declared its mission accomplished, the public might be hard to convince.
“There was no decisive victory here, there is nothing so dramatic that Israel can be proud of,” said Giora Eiland, a former National Security Adviser. “But the situation was managed in the right way and it was clear that Israel enjoyed certain international support.”
Perhaps Israel’s biggest winner was the Iron Dome interceptor that had a 84 percent success rate against incoming missiles, according to the military, almost certainly saving many lives and reducing the pressure for any escalation.