Take out Hamas — now!

Hamas is not going to give up its dream of an Islamic state in place of Israel. It is not going to become ‘moderate’, it is not going to be controlled by a satellite Palestinian Authority, and it is fully focused on war:

Hamas troops

“In the two years since the IDF left the Philadelphi Corridor (along the border between Gaza and Egypt), Hamas has leapt forward by a generation,” a senior IDF officer said in a briefing.

The relative quiet in Gaza in the past month has been maintained by Hamas only in order to be able to build up its forces and arsenal more easily, he said. “Sooner rather than later, there will be Katyusha rockets in Gaza. If they already possess missiles 115 mm in diameter, Katyushas are only a matter of time.”

Hamas has built a de facto army, the officer added, noting that their forces number from 12,000 to 13,000, with a clear command structure and training regime.

“Hamas already has four trained divisions… It also has forces specializing in various types of combat. An additional element is the hundreds of operatives traveling to Iran in order to acquire new (military) knowledge to bring back to Gaza.” — YNet

Since Israel gave up control of the border between Gaza and Egypt, the flow of weapons and explosives to Hamas has been massive. The international boycott of Hamas has not prevented Iran and Syria (and possibly other Arab states) from building up Hamas’ fighting ability, even while civilians suffer shortages. Hamas has been building fortifications like those in South Lebanon, and may also have antiaircraft and antitank weapons.

This situation cannot get better by itself, and it cannot be solved by any imaginable diplomatic activity. Every day Hamas gets stronger. And it’s impossible to consider Hamas in isolation: when war comes it may also involve Hezbollah, which has not been sitting still either.

We should also keep in mind that at some point, the Fatah army being built in the West Bank by the ill-conceived US plan to “bolster” the Palestinian authority will become a threat.

And I haven’t mentioned the Iranian threat to provide a nuclear umbrella to protect Hamas and Hezbollah. How much time is left before this becomes a deterrent?

Israelis really hate war and the idea of war, despite the propaganda coming daily from their enemies. But if war is inevitable, then it’s best to fight at a time and place of one’s choosing, and to have the advantage of surprise (as in 1967).

Israel needs time to correct the problems in the army and in “home front” defense that were made apparent in the war last summer. Israel must also find a way to deter Hezbollah and other forces from joining the fight, or neutralizing them if they do. But the time available is not unlimited.

Let’s hope Israel’s leadership is thinking in these terms.

Technorati Tags: ,

4 Responses to “Take out Hamas — now!”

  1. shimshon says:

    I don’t think the Mazen Government is better. They all have one goal – To take Israel from the map!

  2. Vic Rosenthal says:

    I don’t disagree, and as I mentioned, the Fatah army being built by the US now will ultimately pose a threat of its own. I think the danger from Hamas is more pressing today. Fatah now is just a gang of terrorists — bad enough, but not a real army.

    I guess the real question is whether Israel can find a way to handle either Hamas or Hezbollah without simultaneously fighting the other.

  3. shimshon says:

    Well, I think that if we have no choice we will fight Hezbollah & Hamas simultaneously, the army learned a lot from last year war and Hamas is unlike Hezbollah not a serious opponent (From a military point of view).
    The thing is that Israel is acting in a moral way and doesn’t want kill civilians otherwise the problem would already be solved.
    Doing that would only play into the extremists hands.

  4. Shalom Freedman says:

    It may well be that the present Israeli government is ignoring the arms- build-up in Gaza because it has only its own short- term survival in mind. It may be that it is waiting for the right moment and pretext, the rocket into Israel that causes considerable damage.
    In any case should ‘Hamas’ begin the violence Israel should not play according to the ‘Hamas’ scenario. They may have tens of missiles and anti- tank weapons but once they do not have electricity and water in Gaza those weapons will be of little value. Israel must not play the Marquis of Queensbury rules but with the idea in mind that it is task is to defend its own citizens, and not risk its own soldiers unnecessarily.