Why They Continue to Murder

(Ha'aretz) Avraham Tal - In Gaza today Israel is waging a defensive war against paramilitary organizations whose goals go beyond those of a war of national liberation. The decision to withdraw from Gaza should have brought about an end to acts of violence, at least in the area destined for evacuation, since the Palestinians achieved their goal. So why do the Palestinians continue their campaign of murder against civilians and soldiers in Gaza with even greater intensity than before? The accepted explanation is that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Al-Aqsa each want to prove that they, and only they, succeeded in expelling the Israelis from Gaza. But this is not the whole truth. Hamas and Islamic Jihad view the continued fighting against Israel as an additional stage in their effort to expel it not only from all of the territories, but also from the 1948 borders. The organizations now waging the terrorist war in Gaza do not intend to make do with the evacuation of the territories. No Hamas or Jihad spokesman has ever declared the intention of recognizing Israel in its 1948 borders; it is also hard to hear such willingness from the heads of the Al-Aqsa gangs and the Popular Resistance Committees operating in the Strip. It is no accident that peace initiatives by various Israeli governments, and particularly that of Ehud Barak's government, have met with Palestinian rejection. The Islamic movements reject any such initiative for Islamic reasons (all of Palestine is part of the Muslim waqf, and no infidel entity can be allowed to exist in it). The secular Palestinian movements also have difficulty accepting the existence of a Jewish state in Palestine. Therefore, the Fatah leadership prefers to postpone the establishment of the Palestinian state, in the hope that the unceasing armed struggle against the Jewish state will undermine its foundations and perhaps even lead to its disappearance from the stage of history. Israel is currently waging an existential war against forces that wish to eradicate it. In this existential war, Israel is fighting murderous gangs that operate from behind or from the midst of Palestinian civilians, most of whom, unfortunately, support these gangs and their murderous tactics.

2004-10-04 00:00:00

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