Sunday, May 24, 2015

Not a zero-sum game

Residents of Gaza deserve a better future, citizens of Israel deserve quieter days.

Humanitarian aid to Gaza through the Kerem Shalom Crossing. Humanitarian aid to Gaza through the Kerem Shalom Crossing.
Updated: August 19, 2014 1:08 pm

By: Daniel Carmon

Once again, another ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is about to expire. Almost all parties involved in the indirect negotiations or affected by it share the expectation to reach a lasting agreement or at least extend the ceasefire. All but Hamas. This terrorist organisation had already rejected a few Egyptian proposals for a long-term Gaza truce. Hamas’s spokesman even said on Monday that if Israel will not accept all their demands it will “face a long war”.

Israel’s operation in Gaza over the past month is first and foremost a reaction to the terrorist organisation Hamas’s aggression, as more than 20,000 rockets were fired by Hamas and other terror organisations since 2007. Rockets are aimed to kill. Even the smallest of the more than 3,300 Hamas projectiles launched at Israel since July 7 can kill. Mortar shells that were fired and hit Israel caused a number of casualties in Israel, while in other cases they landed on the Palestinian side causing civilian casualties there too.

Israel completely evacuated the Gaza Strip in 2005 and handed over the keys to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Israel’s wish — and the international community’s dream — was to see Palestinians take responsibility for their own fate and to show the world their capability of successfully managing their territory.

Unfortunately, this did not happen. In 2007, the terror organisation Hamas violently seized control of the territory of Gaza and imposed its ruthless rule on the population in an actual coup d’état against the PA.

Hamas did so as part of its radical agenda, based on the two pillars mentioned in the Hamas charter — one is the fight against Israel and the other is transforming Gaza and the whole territory between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea into a radical Islamic caliphate, similar to the Islamic State’s intentions in Iraq. Trying to amass support around the first objective is the road to achieve the latter.

Hamas is designated as a terror organisation by the international community. Its terrorist armaments and belligerent activities breach United Nations resolutions on combating terrorism. It also contradicts agreements between Israel and the Palestinians on maintaining Gaza, like the West Bank, with weapons only for internal security and police tasks.

Instead of making Gaza a thriving economy for the benefit of its people, Hamas made sure it became a base for terror, death and destruction by firing rockets deliberately at the Israeli population from civilian installations and initiating terrorist attacks through terror tunnels, while endangering the local population. Using the population as human shields, Hamas wants the humanitarian situation to deteriorate in order to bring pressure on Israel.

That is why Hamas likes to manipulatively wave the flag of “siege over Gaza”. Not only do food, medicine, fuel and aid enter freely at all times, but commodities and consumer goods of every type are transferred daily from Israel …continued »

First Published on: August 19, 2014 3:32 amSingle Page Format
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