AFTER ALMOST one month of battles, with 64 Israel Defense Force soldiers killed and three civilian fatalities, and almost 2,000 dead Palestinians (about half of them combatants), the third Gaza war (codenamed by IDF computers Operation Protective Edge) is essentially over. At least as far as Israel is concerned.

Israel, declared on August 2, a unilateral and gradual withdrawal from Gaza. It was a political decision enhanced by military considerations. At the same time, the IDF has created a one- to three-kilometer buffer zone along the border inside Gaza where it has set up a line of defense. Granted, should Hamas keep firing rockets, the IDF will continue to bomb Gaza from the air, with a repeat of the ground incursion very much on the table. War and peace are still in limbo.

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