Observers: Islamic Jihad misfire tiggered Hamas escalation, set stage for wider conflict


Veteran Arab affairs journalist Avi Issacharoff late Monday assessed that the ongoing Israeli-Hamas hot conflict seemed set to escalate after "a misfire of an Islamic Jihad rocket, prompted Hamas to embark on a series of fatal attacks on Israeli... leaving numerous Israeli army casualties," and all but certainly laying the groundwork for a broad Israeli response. A morning of "relative calm" in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip had been shattered by the rocket, which was aimed at Israeli civilians but fell short and struck what Gazans described as a public kindergarten. Another rocket from the same volley struck the territory's Shifa hospital. The Palestinians blamed the incident on Israel, and Hamas spent the day escalating attacks against Israeli targets, ultimately killing at least nine soldiers across a series of incidents. The attacks put in motion what appears to be a strategic decision by the Israelis - announced by the country's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a press conference also attended by Israel's defense minister and by the IDF's chief of staff - to target an expanded array of Hamas infrastructure. Yediot Aharonot's diplomatic correspondent Nahum Barnea traced the escalation to previous calculations made by top Hamas official Khaled Meshaal, which saw the Qatar-based figure refusing both long-term and medium-term ceasefires in favor of "a ceasefire of a few hours, so that the population in Gaza can breathe some air and stock up on necessities." The Israeli defense establishment has signaled that it will need another week to eliminate the Hamas attack tunnels running from Gaza to within a few hundred meters of sparsely populated and thinly defended Israeli border communities, and the activation of which was the proximate cause for the ground phase of the current conflict.


Some of the soldiers wounded in Operation Protective Edge are benefiting from a brand-new Israeli technology to close open wounds quickly and temporarily prior to further evaluation and treatment. Just on the cusp of the market, the TopClosure 3S Trauma Management System is approved by regulatory agencies in Israel, the United States and Europe for mass-casualty situations such as combat and natural disasters. Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheva is using TopClosure for incoming injuries from the Gaza conflict, according to the technology’s inventor, Dr. Moris Topaz. “We’ve been using it clinically already for a few years, collecting a lot of data to show the scope of applications,” says Topaz, chief of plastic surgery at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera. “It’s changing the way we’ve been handling the closure of wounds to avoid further damage and contamination to the injured tissues.” Until now, emergency protocol for a large open wound involved cleaning and suturing, then applying a skin graft. TopClosure instead enables stretching the edges of the skin over the wound with adhesive attachment plates placed on either side and secured with an approximation strap inserted into the first and then the second plate. This fast procedure also simplifies healing substantially, Topaz tells ISRAEL21c. “When trying to close a wound with sutures, we apply high tension to the skin,” he says. “With TopClosure we can spread the tension on the skin about 100,000 times higher than we could do before.” (via Israel21c)

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