Just like the cease-fires in 2009 and 2012, this cease-fire will keep Hamas intact and allow it to rearm and reorganize to launch another (and even deadlier) assault on the Jewish state.
Hamas launched thousands of rockets at Israel leading up to Operation Cast Lead in the winter of 2008-2009 before Israel finally responded with a counterattack that greatly weakened Hamas infrastructure and weapons capabilities. However, the cease-fire Israel and Hamas signed left Hamas’s leadership intact and did not finish the job.
Hamas was able to rearm and launch another major offensive against Israeli civilians in November of 2012. Hamas used the four-year cease-fire to rebuild its military wing and smuggle more weapons into Gaza. Furthermore, while Hamas in 2008-2009 had rockets that could only reach towns close to Gaza, it possessed more advanced weaponry by 2012 that could hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
After launching these deadlier missiles at Israel’s major population centers in 2012, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense to defend its citizens. However, Israel agreed to sign another long term cease-fire with Hamas, yet again keeping Hamas leadership and infrastructure intact.
We learned this summer that Hamas again took advantage of the cease-fire to rearm and prepare for an even deadlier attempted onslaught of the Jewish people. Hamas used this period of “peace” to dig terror tunnels into Israel and smuggle even larger missiles into Gaza.
We experienced for the second time in six years the cost of signing a long term cease-fire that keeps Hamas intact. This time, in 2014, Hamas had the capability of attacking nearly all of Israel from the air and the capability of digging into Israel underground.
If this long term cease-fire holds – which it may not, considering Hamas has broken at some point every cease-fire signed with Israel – I dread what Hamas will do over the next few years of quiet.
Will it smuggle even deadlier weapons into Gaza? Will it re-dig the tunnels the IDF sacrificed dozens of soldiers to destroy? Will it obtain weapons that can avoid Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system?
If this cease-fire kept Hamas leadership intact (which it appears it did), there is no reason to believe we won’t find ourselves in an even deadlier war in 2-4 years.
History tells us that Hamas will use this cease-fire to rearm and plan for an even more massive attack against Israel; it will have more advanced weapons and will be able to kill more people on both sides. Furthermore, the fact that Hamas leaders still call for the genocide of the Jewish people and the destruction of Israel, while still bragging about using their own civilians as human shields, does not help.