Who is afraid of Hamas? Another military round is inevitable

Hamas members (photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas members
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Israeli military insists that no military confrontation with Hamas in Gaza is needed. In contrast to the aggressive approach taken by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, senior Israeli generals claim that the violent demonstrations near the Israeli border with Gaza should be suppressed, but another round of war should be avoided. Israel would be heavily criticized by the international community, they argue, if another war were launched.
The military believes that it is possible to contain threats to Israel from Gaza until the preparations to prevent Hamas from using its tunnels are complete. In addition, the Israeli cabinet was advised not to order any massive attack on Hamas, as the Gazan population faces a true humanitarian crisis and lacks the means to cope with mass causalities. Gazans, it is said, are already frustrated with their situation and Hamas prefers a political arrangement with the Israelis rather than entering another war. Syria, some officials stress, is more important than Gaza in terms of Israel’s security interests.
The refusal of the army to launch another military round against Hamas is justified once the policies of Netanyahu are thoroughly examined. Israel is unwilling to bring Hamas on its knees, fearing of the consequences of a bloody war where hundreds of Gazans will die as human shields in the service of the Islamists. As the cabinet did not decide to remove the Islamic despots in Gaza, Israel can find itself fighting another war with no significant diplomatic or military gains. From the army’s point of view, Israel must emerge triumphant out of another military round and a situation where the generals’ hands are tied won’t yield any good. The problem is, therefore, with the cabinet ministers rather than with the army. With no decision to end the misery of masses of Gazans who live under a ruthless dictatorship, any war might end with diplomatic and even military defeat to Israel. Without destroying the Jihadists, it is probable that the situation of the people of Gaza will only be worsened.
The fear of the cabinet ministers from the prospect of confronting Hamas creates an absurd situation in which the Arabs in Gaza are enslaved and oppressed by their Islamic tyrants. The young generation there is manipulated and led to weekly violent clashes with the Israeli army near the fence and the Israelis in the south are not safe due to Hamas-made tunnels and deadly rockets obtained by the Islamists. Thus, millions of people, Arabs and Jews alike, in Gaza as well as in the Israeli towns and cities near it, are threatened and abused by a terrorist group funded by Iran, endorsed by Hezbollah and sympathized with by countries like Turkey. Following the lack of any decision to put an end to 12 years of Islamic rule in Gaza, many innocents are victimized and abused by armed Islamic militias that serve the “holy” cause of building an Iranian-style caliphate near Israel.
Another military round in Gaza is inevitable. Hamas will continue to construct terror tunnels, threaten the Israelis with homemade rockets, torture and oppress its people through the most vicious means and get funding from the mullahs in Tehran. Sooner or later, Israel will have to deal with Hamas and put into deeds the threats made by senior cabinet ministers who promised to knock down the organization and destroy it. Another war can be delayed – but not forever. The leadership of Hamas is committed to destroy Israel. The generals and policy-makers in Jerusalem understand that the Jewish state has only two options: either defeat the Islamic warmongers or be constantly abused, threatened and terrorized by them. Since the second possibility cannot be accepted by any Israeli leader, war seems unavoidable.

The writer is a political blogger at Jpost.com and a prospective PhD student of the ancient Near East at Bar-Ilan University.