An Egyptian-brokered cease-fire late Sunday brought an end to three days of Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, which left at least 43 Palestinians dead and dozens injured.
The offensive was the first against the blockaded Palestinian territory by the government of interim Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
Lapid became prime minister last month after Naftali Bennett stepped down following the dissolution of the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament).
During the offensive, Lapid, a former journalist, appeared to be seeking to show off himself against Defense Minister Benny Gantz, a military veteran.
Both Lapid and Gantz plan to run for premiership in Israel’s early elections on Nov. 2.
"What happened in Gaza was a security operation that will have political repercussions in the upcoming elections," Yoni Ben-Menachem, an Israeli political analyst, told Anadolu Agency.
He said the military offensive was triggered by intelligence that the Islamic Jihad was allegedly planning a major operation on Gaza border.
"It is true that the offensive was triggered by security reasons, but will be exploited politically,” Ben-Menachem opined.
Ben-Menachem said both Lapid and Gantz are competing to win support against opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu during the upcoming elections.
“As the Gaza operation ended, each one of them will seek to make political gains during electoral campaigning,” he added.
“Gantz was the one leading everything (during Gaza offensive), so Lapid needs to make more efforts politically,” he opined.
According to opinion polls published before the Gaza offensive, Netanyahu was leading against both Lapid and Gantz to win the November elections.
No opinion survey was held since the Gaza military operation yet.
“The first opinion poll after the Gaza offensive will show the mood of the Israeli public,” Ben-Menachem said.
“If Lapid or Gantz managed to lead in opinion polls, the question will be if they will be able to maintain their lead until the polls,” he added.
“Will they also be able to win against Netanyahu’s popularity? For me, I don’t think so,” the Israeli analyst opined.
Lapid's first security crisis
Israeli political analyst Anshel Pfeffer said in an op-ed in Haaretz newspaper that Lapid was “facing his first security crisis” just five weeks since becoming prime minister.
"At this point it could be the perfect boost to the credibility of a leader who has no real military record or experience in senior security posts," Pfeffer said.
Unlike all previous Israeli wars on Gaza, Tel Aviv has not declared any of its goals except to prevent Islamic Jihad operations.
The Israeli army cited an “imminent threat of attack” by Islamic Jihad for its recent military offensive in Gaza.
Pfeffer considered the fact that Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, did not join the conflict and did not carry out any operations against Israel and ending the Gaza operation in a few days as “an achievement” for Lapid.
“The outgoing government has been more aggressive than the previous Netanyahu administrations in responding to smaller provocations from Gaza, retaliating with airstrikes even against balloons floating incendiary devices over into Israel. Despite that, there has been no escalation like the current one for nearly 15 months now,” he said.
“Lapid will be able to claim that the policy he led together with Bennett was more effective than that of the man who is trying to replace him in the prime minister’s office," Pfeffer said, in reference to Netanyahu.