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date: 20 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The history of Israel is framed by wars. However, the nature of Israel’s wars has changed over time, from mainly infantry-based warfare to modern armor warfare, and from conventional warfare to regular armies clashing with nonstate combatants, known in the professional literature as low intensity conflict (LIC). Conventional warfare took place within a clear and well-defined territory, with relative separation between civilians and soldiers. Low intensity conflict has blurred the battlefield boundaries, and armed operations take place in civilian areas. With these changes, the meaning of victory has changed as well. The decisive military victory that marked the military campaigns of 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 is no longer relevant in the LIC battlefield. Conquest of territory and destruction of the enemy’s military forces, the hallmark of victory during the days of the conventional wars, are much less important in a mode of fighting in which the image of being able to continue to inflict damage is much more important.

Keywords: Israel, IDF, Middle East, low intensity conflict, conventional warfare, terrorism, Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinians, Arab-Israeli conflict.

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