Via Egyptian mediation, Israel is seeking to reach a long-term cease-fire with
Hamas that will restore much-needed quiet to the South.
foreign ministers and international community representatives have been visiting
the region, including Israel, in an attempt to help broker a deal that would
bring an end to the hostilities.
In addition to Germany’s Foreign
Minister Guido Westerwelle, who has already made public announcements from
Jerusalem placing the responsibility for ending the conflict on Hamas’s
shoulders, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton will be meeting with our top leaders here.
A long-term cease-fire
is definitely in Israel’s interest.
After all, the prime objective of
Operation Pillar of Defense is to restore deterrence and stop the barrage of
rocket and mortar fire launched from Hamas-controlled Gaza
However, with all the desire to end the bloodshed and destruction,
Israel cannot agree to a cease-fire at any cost. Hamas is demanding, for
instance, that Israel respect Gaza’s airspace and refrain from flying planes,
drones or other air crafts over the Strip. Hamas is also demanding that Israel
remove the naval blockade on Gaza.
Obviously, Israel cannot agree to such
demands as long as Gaza is ruled by a terrorist organization that has The
Protocols of the Elders of Zion in its official charter and sees all of
“Palestine” as an irrevocable “Islamic Wakf [gift from God] throughout the
generations and until the Day of Resurrection.”
Still, Israel could
provide Hamas with a pretext for agreeing to a cease-fire. If Egypt were to
provide guarantees that it will prevent the smuggling of arms through the Rafah
crossing from Sinai, Israel could agree to Hamas’s demand to open Gaza’s land
In essence, the land crossings into and out of Gaza are already
open and they have been for some time. Food and sundry products and materials
make their way into Gaza on a regular basis – both from the Israeli and the
Egyptian sides of the border. Israel could also consider meeting other Hamas
demands that do not compromise Israeli security.
Admittedly, any Israeli
concessions will immediately be touted by the anti-Semitic, anti-Western Hamas
as proof of the efficacy of its evil policies of indiscriminate bombing of
Israelis – men, women and children.
Hamas will attempt to show that it
bullied Israel into submission. And by making concessions, Israel will
essentially be rewarding the Hamas for attacking it.
Hamas will attempt
to present itself as the winner in Operation Pillar of Defense. Hamas Prime
Minister Ismail Haniyeh will make a huge victory speech before a crowd of
hundreds of thousands in Gaza City. And the terrorist organization will take
credit for any Israeli concessions made within the framework of the cease-fire
But after the victory speeches are over and world attention is
directed elsewhere (such as the ongoing massacres in Syria), Gazans will turn to
face the death and destruction brought upon them by Hamas’s inimical
Hamas’s leaders will size up the damage resulting from
Israel’s targeted killings. In addition to the death of Ahmed Jabari, head of
Hamas’s armed wing – the equivalent of an army’s chief-of-staff – several Hamas
field commanders were eliminated as was the head of the Hamas’s rocket
Gaza’s population, meanwhile, will begin to internalize the
extent of the loss of human life. Not only does Hamas refrain from providing its
civilian population with even rudimentary protection by building bomb shelters,
the terrorist organization purposely embeds its gunmen and arms caches in highly
populated areas, near mosques, schools and hospitals.
people, or at least some of them, will begin to realize the folly of Hamas’s
If Hamas’s popularity falls in coming months as it did in the
months after Operation Cast Lead four years ago, perhaps the terrorist
organization will think twice before initiating the next round of
Unfortunately, it is too much to expect that Gaza’s Hamas
government will redirect its efforts and energies from terrorizing Israelis to
bettering the lives of the 1.6 million people living under its leadership.