If the current war between Israel and the Gaza based militants were to finish today, there would be one winner: Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system.
Today my city of Tel Aviv was attacked twice and on both occasions the Gaza launched missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome system.
Iron Dome has also done much to protect other parts of Israel such as the city of Ashkelon and Beer Sheva.
Despite its brilliance, the Iron Dome is only a temporary, short term solution.
To defeat Hamas in the long term we need smarter Israeli policies such as closer cooperation with Egypt and with the PLO. We can start doing so by ending the current settlement expansion drive. One can understand why the current Israeli government would want to undermine and weaken Hamas, but why is it weakening the PLO? Why is Netanyahu making the PLO officials who are cooperating with Israel look like incompetent sell outs by constantly undermining them with more settlements?
To defeat Hamas we also need to end the Gaza siege in its current format. Restrictions against imports and exports except weapons must be lifted. Until then we can not say that we have left Gaza. After Israel left the Sinai in the early 80s as part of the Camp David peace agreement, did it still control what Egypt could import or export through the Sinai? No it didn’t This is why Israel could say that it withdrew from there and no one could dispute it. The same can not currently be said about Gaza.
Implementation of such policies would give more legitimacy and backing to Israel’s right to fight Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists who threaten its security and that of its citizens. They would also weaken the extremist’s support base.