In my last post I mentioned that Hamas was trying to inflict a strategic defeat on Israel in the ongoing attrition warfare by depriving Israel from taking moral high ground. The global public opinion has changed drastically after the massacre of more than 1800 Palestinians, many of them children and women. The attack on UN schools and vehicles reveals a reckless Israeli war-machine trying to avert a disaster but it could well be a result of insecurity of its political leadership. Over the last two decades, two simultaneous strategies have been playing out- increase in number of new Israeli settlements in occupied territories and Palestinian bid to statehood recognition by the UN and international community. Whether Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu genuinely believes Israel faces unprecedented threat or is worried about his political career remains to be seen. The ongoing Gaza war is certainly his decision since both the charges against Hamas - kidnapping and murdering three Israeli teenagers and starting fresh violence- have been proven wrong.
Contrary to popular perception, Hamas did not escalate this cycle of violence, in fact it hadn't fired a single rocket since November 2012 and had tried to stop smaller militant groups from firing rockets into Israel. Hamas leaders had not turned Gandhian peaceniks overnight, State of Palestine was finally coming close to reality and any disruption would have been counter-productive. Besides, Hamas has weakened considerably because of the unrest in the MENA region. As a Sunni group, it has fallen out with Iran its main weapon supplier and the Hezbollah (both Shia) because of their role in the ongoing sectarian schism. However, the biggest setback was ousting of Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt of which Hamas is an offshoot. Though the Gaza Strip had been under a blockade since 2007, it was able to procure some resources through the tunnels opening into Egypt. As part of the crackdown on the brotherhood the Al-Sissi government of Egypt closed all tunnels leading to Gaza which brought Hamas to its knees. Joining force with Fatah was the most rational choice since international community was increasingly supportive of Palestinians' right to statehood.
|Nobel Peace Prize 1994, was awarded to Yitzhak Rabin,Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat after signing Oslo Accords|
|The similarity between Palestinian children behind the fences in Gaza and Jewish children in a concentration camp in Auschwitz is scary.|
|Settlers harass a Palestinian woman, assault a youth in presence of security personnel. Hamas may or may not use children as human shields but settlers do teach children how to use automatic weapons and whom to fire at.|
Most likely Binyamin Netanyahu is so eager to satisfy the right wing that he is unable to see the changing reality, such as Iran's rapprochement with the USA, UN's recognition of Palestine and the fact that that entire world is looking at this campaign as a crime against humanity. Or, perhaps he is simply buying time so his name doesn't go down as the leader under whose watch the State of Palestine was formally established. However, his name would go down in history as the leader who presided over a genocide as the world watched in horror. Unlike other despots of the past, Netanyahu decision would hurt Israel more in the long term than it can help in the shorter term. Since a decade and half, Israel is trying to commit a genocide by attrition using punitive attacks, military and economic and increasing settlements to alter demography. Palestinians have responded with unique resilience,since armed resistance has been far inferior.They have been pushed into such a tight spot that they have nothing left to lose except lives and that has become their strength. Reconciliation now under moderate Fatah leadership would be far more profitable for Israel than risking it to an uncertain future.