Despite the fact that a ceasefire has finally held between Israel and Hamas this conflict is NOT over.
With the truce set to end at 8 am on Friday there’s every possibility that hostilities will break out once the ceasefire ends. Israel has expressed a willingness to extend the truce but thus far Hamas has refused. Quite honestly I don’t blame them. The only card they have left to play is their willingness to go back to war.
I say let them play it. The truth is that if Hamas walk away from this conflict with anything at all they have beaten us and will remain in charge of Gaza, re-arm, re-equip and fight us again later. The only way to deal with them is to drive it home to them 100 percent that they have no options.
Right now they think they have one, violence.
If Israel agrees to opening a seaport, or an airport, or anything else Hamas’s stated aim of breaking the blockade will have been achieved. They may not be all that popular with Gazans but if we send them home empty handed and force them to allow the PA back into a position of power in the Strip they will have been humiliated. It will be very hard for them to present themselves as any kind of resistance to Israel.
The truth is that right now there is an opportunity to break through the hopeless “mowing the lawn” dynamic we have fallen into. We will only achieve this by showing Hamas that they have the power only to bring more destruction down upon themselves. We now know for certain that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens that started this conflict. We must make sure that it ends here.
If these negotiations settle into the same mould as those that took place in 2012 and both sides walk away with nothing more than a face saving deal we will have succeeded only in setting ourselves up for another conflict in the future.
The demonstrations around the world are worse every time there is a conflict here. They will be a lot worse if we have to come back again in 2016. We are going to suffer an investigation by the UN for human rights abuses, we are going to suffer all of the weapons that the international community can throw at us anyway.
So let’s end it here and now while the reserves are already in green.