Last week, dozens of fighter jets from five different countries from around the world came to Israel and participated in the annual Blue Flag aerial exercise held at the Uvda Air Force Base just north of Eilat. They joined 30 fighter jets from the Israeli Air Force, whose F-35 stealth aircraft featured prominently as the star of the exercise.An estimated 800 technical and administrative personnel from the different air forces took part in the two-week drill, which saw planes go up against one another and ground teams that posed as enemy targets, such as missile launchers and radars, to train for different scenarios.Alongside the Israeli aircraft, some 40 aircraft from the United States, Greece, Germany and Italy took part in the drill. There were F-35s, F-16s, Eurofighters and Gulfstreams.“This is a coalition, maybe not one in wartime, but an important coalition,” said a senior Israeli Air Force officer involved in the drill.It was a testament to Israel that none of the air forces left the country after fighting broke out between the IDF and Islamic Jihad last Tuesday, after the targeted killing of Bahaa Abu al-Ata, a top terrorist in the Gaza Strip.The fact that the air forces stayed put, despite the obvious risk and potential criticism they would face back home, says something about the drill, its purpose and the partnerships it helps forge. The air force commanders from Germany and the United States traveled to Israel to see and participate in the drill on their own.Israel is today a military superpower and its air force, in particular, is looked at as a world expert in combating on the one hand, terror groups like Islamic Jihad in Gaza, but also operating behind enemy lines in places like Syria. Its use of the F-35 is being studied by other Western countries, which operate the fifth-generation stealth fighter jets and who are interested in learning how Israel uses the plane and what adaptations, if any, it has made to it since the first squadron became operational in 2018.This is an impressive achievement, one all Israelis can be proud of. Where Israel could improve is in formulating a strategy for the Gaza Strip. The recent round of violence with Islamic Jihad was just the latest demonstration of how Israel lacks a plan for what it wants to happen in Gaza and how it will prevent another round of violence from breaking out again in a month or even later this week.Giora Eiland, a former IDF general and head of the National Security Council, has argued for some time now that Israel needs to allow Hamas to build infrastructure and create assets – like power plants, desalination plants, ports and industrial zones – that can be used as leverage in the event of a new conflict.“If they know that it will be destroyed in the event of violence, they will think whether conflict is the right step,” he explained in a radio interview last Thursday. Eiland’s point is that Hamas will not change its ideology, similar to Hezbollah in Lebanon. But, if it has something to lose like Hezbollah would in a future war – Israel could potentially destroy Lebanese infrastructure and if that happens, the Lebanese people would turn on Hezbollah – it might moderate and cut back its terrorist activity.We do not know if Eiland’s plan will work. But, if Israelis know anything from the last 10 years, it is that the current policy of kicking the can down the road and simply living from one round to the next is also not working. Since inception, Israel’s story has been one of innovation, creativity and working to determine our future by ourselves. The same needs to be applied to Gaza.Israel will not be able to change the hateful and murderous ideology of its enemies, but it can work to create conditions that just might change the calculus on the other side. Until now, it has not done that. Instead of waiting for the next round, it might want to begin trying.