Israel Used Heavy Force, Expecting Bigger Fight

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2009 5:23 PM CDT
Israel Used Heavy Force, Expecting Bigger Fight
An explosion is seen from Israeli artillery during an Israeli military operation in the northern Gaza Strip.   (AP Photo)

Israel used overwhelming force in its recent fight with Hamas because it feared a repeat of the heavy losses sustained in its 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Washington Post reports. Israeli military planners expected Palestinians in Gaza to put up a stronger fight, but it never materialized. The extensive airstrikes and destruction of buildings led to 1,400 Palestinian deaths, compared with 13 on the Israeli side.

“We thought we were going to meet really fierce resistance," said a paratrooper. "It did not happen.” An Israeli commander finds the critique of overwhelming force in Gaza disingenuous. In Lebanon, “we should apologize for why we lost so many tanks and choppers and soldiers, and now during the Gaza Strip war we should apologize for why we didn't.” (More Gaza stories.)

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