Tag Archives: Islamic_Jihad

Peace? Destroy Hamas

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Israel Opinion

The Israeli political left says that an agreement and compromise with the Palestinian Authority will destroy Hamas. In my opinion, it’s quite the opposite: Destroying the Hamas regime is a condition for a compromise agreement with the Palestinians.

It’s not a sufficient condition – there are many other conditions and moves (for example, freezing settlement construction instead of releasing Hamas terrorists) – but it is a necessary condition.

Israel can make Hamas collapse, but Israel doesn’t want it to collapse and has even declared so in advance. From this we can conclude that the existence of a “weakened” Hamas serves all kinds of interests, matches all kinds of outlooks, both personal and ideological, makes the political compromise unachievable and intensifies the suspiciousness and dissention.

Millions of Israelis are rightfully asking themselves: If all the Palestinians are like Hamas, how can we agree to withdraw from even one more kilometer? And the conclusion is: Let’s settle, let’s annex and let’s forget about the dreams.

Some believe Hamas is suffering from a youth revolt syndrome and is acting like an adolescent hooligan. The more it grows up, the more it will calm down, become domesticated, become tamed and make rational decisions. Rational, meaning decisions Israel would like it to make.

I see it as a false hope stemming from a deep misunderstanding of the reasons for Hamas’ existence as a fanatic Islamist military organization.

It’s not that Hamas is operating aimlessly. Its aim is to make the lives of both the Israelis and the Palestinians miserable and to increase the hatred between them up to the point of no return.

The big wave of terror attacks carried out by Hamas began shortly after the Oslo Accords, about 20 years ago, and was quite successful as far as the organization was concerned. Hundreds of Israelis were killed, the public lived in fear, radicalization spread and grew stronger, Israel’s prime minister was murdered and the realization of the agreement ran aground.

Since that wave of terror, our governments have sent the IDF on several operations aimed at weakening Hamas rather than, God forbid, eradicating it.

After every operation we hear that Hamas has been weakened, so much that it can now fire rockets at all parts of Israel and dig a network of tunnels which make the border fences look like a joke. It’s better not to think about what its current “weakening” will lead to.

Hamas’ big day – and Israel’s big missed opportunity – arrived when it took over the Gaza Strip. The takeover put Israel in danger and gave us a recognized international right to intervene and prevent the border area from turning into a terror compound.

But the Israeli government openly avoided that. It even avoided helping the Palestinian Authority, Gaza’s legitimate landlord. Why should we care that the Palestinians are fighting each other? It doesn’t concern us.

According to that same perception which has not changed since then, Israel doesn’t have to worry about who controls Gaza, but only about the type of weapons in Gaza. As if weapons fire on their own.

Accepting Hamas’ takeover of Gaza was a first-class strategic mistake. It got us entangled in every possible trouble, starting with Gaza turning into a rocket arsenal to the decision to impose an economic and environmental siege on the Strip, a siege which affected a poor and helpless population and is perceived in the world as a horrible crime. Even worse than the rockets. Hamas used the siege to justify its acts of war, including the latest one.

The Israeli government eventually began letting go of the siege, secretly, gradually, at an extent which wasn’t enough to create an economic perspective for Gaza’s residents. According to a public opinion poll conducted recently, Hamas has become much less popular than Fatah in Gaza. This is the motive and the explanation for its recent actions.

 

 

 There is a fear that in the post-Hamas era, worse and more dangerous jihad forces will rise to power among the Palestinian public. They may indeed rise to power, but only if we fail to do anything to advance an agreement with the Palestinian Authority while eradicating the Hamas rule.

If we make progress towards a diplomatic agreement, clearing Gaza of Hamas will also clear the long road to peace.

 

 

The Trouble with Gaza

by Yaakov Lappin

Under the rule of the Hamas regime, the Gaza Strip has transformed itself in recent years into one of the world’s most active terrorist havens, and this radical enclave is destined to burst.

Currently, Israel’s government and defense establishment are choosing to contain, rather than uproot, the extensive terrorist infrastructure that has taken root in the Hamas-run enclave.

Hamas is so far cooperating with this approach. It is seeking to expand its local rocket production industry; increase the number of its gunmen, and consolidate its grip on power. All of these long-range goals require time and stability.

Israeli defense officials have acknowledged, however, that containment is a time-limited tactic.

 

A Hamas military parade in Gaza.

 

In addition to Hamas, Gaza hosts an array of radical Islamist armed organizations, such as Iran’s direct proxy, Islamic Jihad, and a growing assortment of armed groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda — all of which reject the legitimacy of a truce with Israel, and which seek to challenge it.

The ease with which smaller terror groups can challenge a ceasefire was apparent in recent days, when Gazan terrorists fired several rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot. The attack set off air raid sirens and sent civilians fleeing for cover. This assault was accompanied by a rocket-propelled grenade attack directed at an Israel Defense Force [IDF] patrol operating along the fence that separates Israel from Gaza. That attack failed to cause injuries.

The Israel Air Force [IAF] responded within a couple of hours, uncharacteristically launching daytime air strikes on targets in south and central Gaza.

Hamas, for its part, acted to restore the calm.

Hamas’s desire for a break from direct conflict with Israel appears genuine.

According to Israeli intelligence estimates, Hamas has amassed over 5,000 short-range rockets and dozens of medium-range rockets that all can reach greater Tel Aviv, and place 70% of Israeli civilians in its range. There is little doubt that Hamas would like to build more rockets. Any renewed clash with the IDF, however, would put these assets in immediate jeopardy; the IAF would destroy them.

Additionally, Hamas is exploiting the calm to build extremely long attack tunnels into Israel. They stretch for more than a kilometer, and can be used to inject terror cells into Israel to carry out terror attacks or kidnap soldiers. Hamas pours millions of dollars into these tunnels. The IDF often discovers and destroys them.

Hamas’s fighting divisions consist of some 16,000 gunmen. In a full-scale conflict with Israel, their fate would be compromised — meaning that should war erupt, Hamas’s very existence as a government could be undermined. Hence, Hamas seems to prefer to keep the truce going.

The trouble for Hamas is that it is not alone. With the aid of Iranian funds and training, Islamic Jihad has built up a fighting force of 5,000 armed guerrillas. Islamic Jihad has more than 2,000 rockets, and that number is growing. Should Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, give the order to Islamic Jihad, a confrontation in Gaza could quickly begin, leaving Hamas with the option of either trying to face down a fellow terror organization or joining it in a war against Israel.

There are also 4,000 or so members of smaller Gazan terror groups, each armed with its own mini-arsenal of rockets, bombs, and assault weapons. Many of these groups are loyal to the vision of Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri of an Islamic caliphate, and maintain ties with fellow jihadis in the neighboring Sinai Peninsula.

These groups are, it seems, outraged by what they see as Hamas’s soft policy on Israel, and have pledged soon to resume hostilities against it.

Therefore, even if Hamas wanted to extend a truce for years, its ability to do so is seriously in doubt. Further, as Israel’s policy of containment is founded on the idea of a deterred Hamas reigning in the other terror organizations, a failure by Hamas to do so would lead to a collapse of that approach.

It is for this day that the IDF is preparing around the clock. In the meantime, as Gaza continues to fester with radical terror organizations, its unfortunate population continues to pay the price.

Don’t feed Palestinian Arab babies food. Better to feed them lies.

EoZ Rocks: We mentioned last week that Jordanian MP Tareq Khoury called for Jordan to kidnap Israeli diplomats and tourists.

Here is the banner photo  Khoury uses on Facebook.

Don’t feed the baby food. Feed it lies instead.

Just reason #1904 that peace is impossible.