Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gaza Encounters - What's Next?

It's been 2 years since Israel disengaged from Gaza, leaving 100% of Gaza in the control of the Palestinians. The motivating factor was peace and quiet from Israel's perspective. Unfortunately, we have seen once again, that this factor is not common with the Palestinians. Instead of peace and quiet, Hamas conducted a brutal campaign against the "so called" moderate PLO, and took 100% control of Gaza from the PLO. In addition, more than 3,500 rockets were launched from Gaza into Israeli towns, most specifically Sderot. Imagine that... two years filled with thousands of rocket attacks.

Israel has shown relative constraint during these years. This is mainly due to US and external pressure in hopes of boosting Abbas and his PLO in the West Bank. The hope was that isolation and sanctions on Hamas will reduce their power - and create more critics of the Hamas.

This route has failed all parties.

First, the poor residents of Sderot haven't lived normal lives for more than two years. That is, constant sirens sending them to bomb shelters. The economy is destroyed. All people are asbolutely begging the Government to do more to stop the rocket attacks.

Second, the Palestinians are still miserable. Hamas has totally failed their people and instead of encouraging a "rebuilding" environment and process, they have only made things worse in terms of poverty, infrastructure, and unity.

Lastly, the International community has decided to adopt a "blind eye" policy. You rarely hear any criticisms from the Intl. community regarding the continious bombardment of Qassam rockets being launched from Gaza.

As such, the pressure being put on Israel's government is starting to mount. Last night, 12 terrorists were killed in multiple military operations. Reports indicate that an increase in military activity in Gaza will continue to intensify. Some are even suggesting that large scale operation and incursion will take place - in which elements in the region can easily heat up.

Hamas has already declared a state of alert and readiness. We will now see what Israel does.. but don't be suprised if the conflict flares up from Gaza and spreads to other regions (Hizbollah/North).

Brace yourselves!


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