Air University Press


On the Fly: Israeli Airpower against the Al-Aqsa Intifada, 2000–2005

  • Published
  • By Lt Col Matthew M. Hurley, USAF

Perhaps the greatest lesson the Israeli Air Force should have learned from the five-year campaign against Palestinian militants in the Occupied Territories was the danger inherent in planning from past success. It had long been accustomed to fight short, sharp, conventional wars. Operation Ebb and Flow demonstrates that the IAF understood urban COIN threats at least as poorly as its own role in combating them. Indeed, its overwhelming preference for the blunt application of kinetic force proved as beneficial to Palestinian terrorists as to Israel. More than any other instrument of Israeli power, the IAF united Palestinian militant groups; generated publicity and sympathy for those groups; provided incentives for terrorist recruitment; and polarized Israeli society to a degree unseen since the Lebanon War in the 1980s.


AuthorLt Col Matthew M. Hurley, USAF
AU Press CodeAP-2010-2
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