Middle East Desk
The attacks has one single goal………to stop the firing of Hamas rockets into Israel proper……that was in 2008 and is as it is today…….the problem is that NO amount of airstrikes and ground forces have stopped the rockets and their deadly intention…….I believe that Einstein had an observation on this type of action……
Israel says that they are not targeting civilians but rather are going after Hamas members….the problem with that statement is that the bombs cannot telling Hamas from a civilian…….
Recently Israel was magnanimous….they offered a cease fire….if Hamas will stop firing rockets they will stop bombing……that was the deal in 2008 also……of course Hamas would reject the deal and once they did Israel would have a clear path for escalation. In 2008 with Egypt’s assistance a deal was offered……….the terms were this…….
Israel shall stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air, including incursions and targeting of individuals.
All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel, including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.
Opening the crossings and facilitating the movement of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas. Procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.
Once the deal was accepted then missiles no longer were fired into Israel…….that worked out well for Israel but they did not live up to terms….there were airstrikes, there incursions into Gaza and fishermen were harassed and arrested and the economic blockade remained…..of course the tried and true excuse for a continuation of violence is that they had intel that Hamas was planning something and they had to act…..
On the 24th of December 2012 the rockets resumed to target inside Israel…..and of course the condemnation of Hamas began all over again and the killing resumed……
Like I wrote Israel offered a deal for the hostilities to stop…..it was rejected by Hamas. But why did Hamas reject the proposal? Hamas remembers how well Israel accepted the terms of the last ceasefire…..not much changed other than Hamas was silent for a period of time…….Hamas sees this deal NO better than the screwing they took in the deal of 2008. Plus since Hamas took over in Gaza there has been an economic blockade of the region that Hamas wants ended so the people of Gaza can have a normal life…..
Hamas did not like the deal the Egypt and Israel had come up with and has offered Israel a 10 year truce deal….a counter proposal……
The first demand, according to Maariv, is the withdrawal of Israeli military tanks from the border fence area to a distance that enables Gaza farmers to access their fields and tend them freely.
In addition, Israel must free all Palestinian prisoners detained after the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the southern West Bank including those who were freed as part of Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. This precondition also includes softening procedures against all prisoners in Israeli custody.
A third demand stipulates that Israel ends the crippling siege on the coastal enclave, which means reopening all border crossings and allowing the entry of construction materials and all requirements needed to run the Gaza Strip’s power station.
The fourth demand stipulates the opening of an international seaport and international airport in the Gaza Strip to be run and monitored by the United Nations.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad also demanded that Israel increases the Gaza fishing zone to 10 nautical miles and allows Gaza fishermen to use large fishing ships.
Furthermore, the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip should be monitored by international crews from friendly and Arab countries.
Israel must commit to a ceasefire for 10 years which includes closing Gaza airspace to Israeli aircraft, it added.
Moreover, Israel must give Gaza residents permission to visit Jerusalem and pray in the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Another stipulation demands that Israel abstain from any intervention in Palestinian internal affairs including political arrangements and the reconciliation agreement and all its consequences.
Finally, the Gaza industrial zone must be re-established.
A 10 year peace deal? Why would Israel balk at the prospect?
About the only item that would appeal to Israel is the ceasing of rockets into Israel……there is NO way that either side is going to control themselves for 10 years…..
Any agreement regardless of who proposes it should include a couple conditions……
1. An agreement must be clear in terms of what constitutes a violation so that the actors will have to consider the ramifications of public condemnation before committing a violation.
2. An agreement must take into consideration the dramatic imbalance of power between the sides. If there is a Palestinian violation, Israel retains the capacity to hold them accountable independently and at will, often inflicting disproportionate causalities leading to escalation. But when Israel violates the cease-fire, Palestinians cannot hold them accountable. The absence of any mechanism for monitoring Israeli violations and holding them to account creates incentives for Palestinians to do so in other ways, like firing projectiles.
3. An agreement must ensure that Israel does not use its position of power to unilaterally change the terms. The previous cease-fire included an easing of restrictions as part of the detailed understanding between the parties negotiated through Egypt. This meant fisherman could fish up to six nautical miles from the coast instead of the previously imposed three nautical mile mark. It also meant Palestinians could access farm land up to 300 meters from the fence, previously Israel had fired at Palestinians as far as 1500 meters away. But during the course of the cease-fire, Israel unilaterally changed those terms, reinforcing the three nautical mile mark and going back to shooting Palestinians near the fence even as far away as 1500 meters.
4. An agreement must take into account the devastating human rights crisis and humanitarian situation in Gaza that lies at the foundation of discontent there. As mentioned above, when it came to “easing restrictions” the previous agreement was mostly about determining what would be the dimensions of the prison cell that is the Gaza Strip. For real progress, an agreement must challenge the very notion that Palestinians should be stuck in this prison at all and move toward ending the collective punishment that is Israel’s siege on the Strip.
There can be a sustainable peace in the region but all sides MUST sign on and hold up their end of the agreement……and ALL sides have got to want peace…….unfortunately I do not see that has a priority….and since it is not then this cycle will continue and the West will sit on their hands and wait…….and while they wait and do nothing more Palestinians will die.