Cease-Fire with Hamas in Gaza Is No Solution

[Ha'aretz] Ely Karmon - Israel's acceptance of a cease-fire would constitute a strategic victory for Hamas and its allies. Hamas would quickly receive international legitimacy, establish its economic and political control through the generous assistance of the international community, and be able to develop a deterrent military capability vis-a-vis Israel through massive arms smuggling across the Egyptian border. In a year or two, an extremist state, allied with Iran, Syria and Hizbullah, will emerge on Israel's southern border, with a good chance of taking over the West Bank and affecting the stability of Jordan, Egypt, and possibly also the Islamic movement in Israel. Israel must keep up its effort against a strengthening of Hamas in Gaza. Only by bolstering the moderates in the Palestinian leadership and population in the West Bank, while politically and socially weakening Hamas in Gaza, will it be possible, perhaps, for fissures to occur in the Islamic movement and for a joint struggle with the Fatah moderates and the pragmatic leaders among Hamas against the radicals in control in Gaza. The writer is a senior researcher at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Inter-Disciplinary Center, Herzliya.

2008-01-02 01:00:00

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