Haniyeh shouting, mikes 311.
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The cumulative evidence – the Mavi Marmara’s own closed circuit TV coverage and
video photos from the actual naval operation – all strengthen the conclusion
that the Gaza flotilla was a well-planned provocation.
What angers me as
an Israeli is that the government walked right into this trap.
have dealt with the flotilla more intelligently. The obsessive
preoccupation with the death of nine militants ignores the fundamental
that has to be asked. The angry reaction to the losses among followers
Turkish jihadist organization IHH is an obvious example of the world’s
hypocrisy. I did not witness this sort of anger when dozens of Muslims
to pieces by suicide bombers inside mosques in Iraq and Pakistan. I saw
outrage when Afghan civilians became “collateral damage” in NATO attacks
The central question is, why does everyone acquiesce in the
existence of the Hamas regime in Gaza? We recall that Hamas took power
in June 2007 in a brutal and bloody coup, and has survived since then
massive military and financial support of Iran. Hamas in Gaza is
thousands of missiles and rockets, some 3,000 of which have already been
launched against Israel.
Hamas rules Gaza with a heavy hand, brutally
suppressing its political rivals and gradually imposing harsh Islamic
law. If anyone believes that Palestinians in Gaza, whose welfare
concerned about, love the Hamas regime, they should be reminded that not
single opinion poll has been taken in Gaza in the past two years that
award Fatah of Mahmoud Abbas a significant majority of support over
For the two countries bordering Gaza, Hamas rule there is
For Egypt, this is a dangerous precedent of takeover by
force on the part of an organization affiliated with the Muslim
nemesis of the Cairo regime. Every day that passes in Gaza under Hamas
offers proof that the Brethren are capable of maintaining power for an
period. This is a precedent that Egypt cannot easily accept.
Gaza is an Iranian missile base situated three kilometers from the
Israeli town and 60 km. from Tel Aviv– a base where more and more
being stockpiled for eventual launch against Israel.
BUT ISRAEL and Gaza
cannot be separated. Five functional sectors link them: commerce,
environment and health. In each of these sectors, mutual dependence
Hence Israel cannot declare that what happens in Gaza no
longer interests it, just as there is no possibility of managing the
Gaza efficiently over time without close cooperation with Israel. This
organization that rejects Israel’s existence cannot govern in Gaza over
run, even with outside support.
Hamas rule in Gaza is unbearable for the
Palestinian Authority under Abbas as well. Some 40 percent of the PA’s
are living under the rule of a movement that seeks to eliminate it and
of Palestine into an Islamic emirate, promising eternal confrontation
Israel. This movement aspires to turn the Palestinian dream of a modern
sovereign state into a nightmare along the lines of Mogadishu under the
Actually, there is no siege of Gaza. All the political actors whose
basic interests are violated by the existence of Hamastan in Gaza
allow Hamas to rule there. Egypt in effect permits the delivery of
anything through the tunnels. The Ramallah- based PA government pays the
monthly salaries of PA employees in Gaza. Israel delivers, in addition
electricity and water, some 150 trucks loaded with equipment – not just
humanitarian goods – every day.
There are almost no exports from Gaza and
there is little production there. As long as a terrorist organization
there, neither Israel nor Egypt will permit entry of shipments that the
military arm is responsible for from a security standpoint. Here we
prior to the Hamas coup in Gaza, 750 trucks entered Israel from Gaza
Abbas’s Presidential Guard was responsible for security at the
The solution Gaza needs will only arrive when Hamas rule
That can only happen by means of a joint strategy coordinated among
Egypt, Israel and the PA. Possible interim objectives could include
the border crossings to PA rule and establishment of an apolitical
civil administration that would manage the affairs of the Gaza Strip
elections. But even these interim objectives are hard to achieve without
neutralizing Hamas’s military force in Gaza.
This shared strategy is an
urgent and appropriate topic for the talks being managed by US envoy
Mitchell. Gaza must return to legitimate Palestinian rule and cease
Iran’s strategic interests.The writer, a retired IDF general,
several governments as minister of health, minister of transportation
minister of defense. He is currently chairman of the S. Daniel Abraham
for Strategic Dialogue at the Netanya Academic College. This article was
published on www.bitterlemons.org and is reprinted with permission.