The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) in the Gaza Strip have announced that they are in possession of “Nasser-4” rockets that have a range of 25 kilometers and pose a threat to Ashdod…
The unveiling of the new rockets is a “clear violation” of the truce with Israel, Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Mark Regev told CNN.
“The cease-fire that was negotiated through Egypt was very specific that the Hamas movement and the other terrorist groups can’t use it as a period to import more weapons, more explosives, more rockets into the Gaza Strip,” Regev added.
Was there the slightest doubt that the terrorists would take this opportunity to improve their position?
Weren’t Israeli authorities aware of the hundreds of tunnels and the massive smuggling enterprise that has made absolutely everything available to Hamas and associates?
Since the ceasefire has been in effect, Hamas has imported cement for building bunkers and fortifications, and has mined strategic areas in the Strip. It has even sent operatives to Iran for training. Many observers predicted this, and certainly the Israeli government must have expected it.
Sometimes a ceasefire is advantageous to both sides, if it allows for a cooling off period during which negotiations can proceed for a compromise solution of a dispute. If there is a diplomatic opening, then it should be taken. That is one way to end a war.
But there is no imaginable compromise between Israel and Hamas, whose reason for being is to destroy Israel. Peace is preferable to war, but self-defense often requires violence. As I’ve written innumerable times, the war between Israel and Hamas can only end with one side or the other victorious. Israeli decision-makers know this too.
But nevertheless they agreed to a ceasefire which benefits Hamas. They got a certain amount of time free of massive rocket fire — although not entirely — which ‘solved’ the problem that Israelis living in rocket range were becoming more and more militant in demanding a solution. For now.
However, it created a greater problem, which will be reflected in casualty figures when the IDF finally confronts Hamas. This will be the case both for soldiers and for Isareli civilians in Sderot, Ashdod, etc.
Why did they do this? One reason is simply weakness: take the short-term gain and worry about the long term damage, er, in the long term. Another is probably international pressure on Israel not to do anything that might involve Palestinian civilian casualties.
There is an irony here: the official policy of the Israeli government today is to try to reach an agreement with ‘moderate’ Palestinians and to implement a two-state solution. This is being pushed hard by the US and the EU, to the point of forcing Israel to make concessions that are dangerous to her security. But the biggest obstacle to the success of this plan (if indeed it has any chance) — is Hamas!
No Palestinian state controlled or significantly influenced by Hamas could live at peace alongside Israel. But the growing power of Hamas has made it highly unlikely that a state could be established today that would not shortly become a Hamas terror state.
Therefore, if the US, EU, and others want Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and allow a Palestinian state to be established, they would do well to permit Israel to do what it must do anyway from the standpoint of self-defense, and put an end to Hamas in Gaza as well as the West Bank.