What Should Israel Do About Hamas in Gaza?
The outside world grows tired of the repeated, broken-like record, of Hamas in Gaza. It is a terrorist group vowed to destroy Israel and amply supplied with thousands of short and mid-range missiles from Syria and Iran, all based on older and improved Chinese missile. Most rocks are of the fire and forget. About as accurate as a bottle rocket fired on the 4th of July in the US. Hamas can aim them at the general direction of Tel Aviv or other Israeli cities, but most wander off course, some get lucky and hit the intended target.
Today, both sides are escalating because of incidents that were caused by civilian terrorists on both sides out of hatred. Someone killed three Israeli teens near the Gaza border for no particular reason. For months, their bodies were not found. There were rumblings that Hamas or Palestinians had done this and then evidence. Yet, the Israeli government did little about it. Israeli ultra-right wing terrorists then retaliated and kidnapped a Gaza teen, as innocent as the Israeli teens, beat him to a pulp, poured gas on him and lit him up like a candle. He burned alive. The last spark to the recent rumor of war was an American teen visiting his cousin in Gaza, getting caught up in the frenzy. His cousin was the burned alive teen.
The government in Gaza and Hamas claim to be separate entities, but they are more joined than not. The President of Gaza and Hamas has direct channels to Hamas leaders. Hamas has been wanting a reason to continue their war on Israel. The Gaza government and Israel have hit an impasse in their peace talks. Peace talks that get hung up on the same reasons, even the U.S. is tired of trying to mediate.
Hamas does have their own agenda, apart from the official Gaza government. The government does want peace for its people, yet, unwilling to moderate their bargaining positions. Hamas is not involved. Their agenda is to destroy Israel, like Hezbollah in Lebanon. That is their only goal and then to control the Gaza government. For Israel, surrounded by terrorists in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, their thinking is truly one of self preservation and rightly so. Far off but yet close is Iran, which is providing the weapons to the groups vowing Israel's destruction. Iran would love if Israel ceased to exist. In this context, it is easy to see why Israeli positions in the peace talks with Gaza are non-negotiable.
Both Jordan and Saudi Arabia consider Israel more of a friend now. This was not the case decades ago. They realize that Israel is benign unless threatened and attacked. This is similar to America. If either occurs, you can be sure the use of military power will come into play. But what should Israel do now?
Israeli airpower has been trying to destroy the hidden missile sites and stockpiles inside Gaza. These sites are hidden in and near innocent Palestinian homes and businesses. A common tactic to make sure there is collateral damage when Israeli artillery or airstrikes attack. The more collateral damage caused, the more Hamas will claim Israeli brutality to incite locals. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. In order to really destroy the sites, the Israel army must enter Gaza again and conduct urban warfare, something no army wants to do. Doing so, will only cause even more mayhem and destruction. It will create more hatred for the Israeli.
The only real solution is for the Gaza government to somehow destroy Hamas or their ability to use rockets. This would mean that it would be a Palestinian against Palestinian battle, something most unlikely to happen. Hamas would be too much to handle and could actually take control of the government that must tolerate Hamas. Not all Palestinians like Hamas.
Given the choice, Israel could do nothing also. Just continue intercepting missiles tossed over by Hamas until they run out or stop wasting their time. But, that would make their people feel vulnerable and it is not what the government would want. So, it seems Israel has to continue in what they are doing and maybe re-enter Gaza to do what they always do. If Iran would stop supplying missiles to Hamas, this would help too.
It's not just a Palestinian-Israeli issue.