The end game

The Gaza war will be coming to an end in the next few days, probably as a result of a unilateral Israeli cease-fire. As it appears today, Hamas will be allowed to remain in control of the Gaza strip.

Unless the IDF performs a last-minute miracle — it wouldn’t be the first time — the top leaders of Hamas, who should face punishment for war crimes or even plain old homicide, will not be hit or captured in Gaza and Damascus. And Gilad Schalit will still be in Hamas captivity.

I would like to see Haniyeh and Meshaal in Israeli hands, and given the choice to facilitate Schalit’s release or to become martyrs themselves, as they have so often urged others to do. If Schalit is released, then they can take their chances at trial. I know, I’m dreaming.

Israel and the US have agreed to work together to stop the smuggling of weapons and explosives to Hamas. I really want to be optimistic about this, but all the technology in the world can’t substitute for motivation.

The deal includes measures meant to fight arms smuggling from Iran to Gaza, with the policing to take place throughout the route by which the arms reach Gaza, including patrols of the Persian Gulf, Sudan and neighboring states.

The two-and-a-half page document outlines a framework under which the United States will provide military and intelligence assets, including detection and surveillance equipment, as well as logistical help and training to Israel, Egypt and other nations in the region. The equipment and training would be used for monitoring Gaza’s land and sea borders.

The document also calls for the U.S. to expand work with its NATO partners in the effort, particularly in the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and eastern Africa, according to a text.

It also commits Washington to use relevant components of the U.S. military to assist Mideast governments in preventing weapons and explosives flows to Gaza that originate in or transit their territories.

I would prefer to see Israel in control of the Philadelphi corridor, at least for a time.

I think Israel’s enemies have a learned that they drew the wrong lessons from the 2006 Lebanon war. Israel can and will fight if necessary.

I just think a bit more of an unequivocal victory, which the IDF really has earned on the battlefield, would leave Israel much better off politically. When the Obama administration comes on stage, there will be immediate pressure to unite the Palestinians in some way. The more that Hamas can be marginalized before that happens, the better.

My guess is that there will not be a total end to rocket fire, unless things change dramatically in the next few days. What’s left of Hamas will claim victory, of course.

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3 Responses to “The end game”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    This is I believe a good outline of what is likely to happen. But ‘Hamas’ will I believe make a mistake if it continues with the rocket- fire. If it does this may be the signal Israel is waiting for to take apart completely whatever is left of the Hamas Security Compound in Gaza.
    I by the way do not believe Haniyeh is alive because he is successfully hiding. My guess is Israel prefers him alive rather than the chaos of no leadership.

  2. Vic Rosenthal says:

    It’s now exactly 2 am Israel time. My money is on Hamas continuing to fire rockets. We’ll see.

  3. Shalom Freedman says:

    I agree that Hamas will continue to fire rockets. They will claim victory in that they have withstood Israel. But at some point the realities of the situation will become clear to them. The pressures of their own situation, the understanding of the disaster they have brought to Gaza will be more clear to them. Pressures will mount on them to stop the rocket – fire as it gives them nothing.
    We must underline the military victory, the defeat of the Iranian proxy, the restoration of deterrence, the outstanding accomplisment of our military.