The kidnapping of the soldier, Gilad Shalit, and the non-cessation of Qassam rocket fire into Israel despite the “Summer Rain” Israel Army operation into Gaza, proves once again the intransigence of Hamas to come to terms with Israel. Declaration of deadline to free Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit is part of the psychological warfare these thugs wage in order to achieve their objective. The firing of a Qassam rocket into a school in Ashkelon is another example of a signal that the Hamas terrorists are sending that they have the capability of causing havoc to Israeli citizens.
The Hamas military wing of terrorists is operating in cells many of whom are unknown entities even to the Hamas organization that cultivates them. There are the Fatah terrorist wings as well that also operate independently. What are the objectives of Hamas in carrying out these terrorist operations against Israel? It is all part of an ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinians since Israel’s establishment in 1948. There have been attempts over the years to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians but to no avail. The Palestinians have been harping on the occupation after the June War of 1967 as a reason for the violence. They have been declaring the illegality of the occupation and the population of the occupied territories with Israeli settlers. Unfortunately, the problem is more than that. It is existential, as all the wars prior to 1967 have proved that Israel is an unwanted entity in the midst of Arab States. The occupation is a catalyst for the ongoing violence. Apart from that, the situation has become more complex as there are other rogue states involved more than ever before. The major rogue players are Iran and Syria. The former under the Achmadinajad regime has engaged in much anti-Israel rhetoric and is financing terrorist operations against Israelis. The latter is harbouring Khaled Mashaal, the Hamas leader, who has much influence in the direction that Hamas chooses in the war against Israel.
Hamas is behaving in an irresponsible manner towards the electorate that voted them into power. In August 2005 when Israel disengaged from Gaza, Hamas managed to cultivate trust and credibility in Palestinian street to such an extent that an overwhelming majority elected them into power. Perhaps the Palestinians believed that after the corrupt Fatah regime and the so-called clean slate of Hamas rendered them capable of getting the Palestinian house in order. The Palestinians received Gaza unilaterally and there was hope that Hamas would rebuild the infra structure that the Israel Army had destroyed. Time proved that this was far from the reality. Hamas has no intentions of rebuilding Gaza or improving the poor economic situation of the Palestinians. Hamas has joined the increasing ring of fundamental Islamist terrorists whose philosophy is that of plunder and killing the infidels. They will wage their fantasy wars for eventual victory that means the destruction of Israel and the establishment of an Islamic state whose laws are based on Sharia. They are using the “occupation” to portray the injustices perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians. Today it is more than that. A non-Moslem entity (Israel) in the midst of Moslem Arab States is unacceptable to Hamas and its terrorist allies irrespective of the “occupation”.
Another step towards the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel has evaporated into the mists of a long list of missed opportunities. Despite all this, PM of Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, appealed to the terrorists holding Gilad Shalit not to harm him in any way. He is realistic enough to realize that Israel will wreak havoc the likes of which are unknown in Gaza if the Hamas terrorists harm Gilad. The Hamas political wing does not control the military wing and it is possible that Haniyeh is not in the picture directly.
Hamas terrorist thugs who are leading the Palestinians on the road to disaster now run the Palestinian Authority. President Mahmoud Abbas even stated that there is nobody to talk to on the release of the kidnapped soldier. This is an incredible admission on his part. He is no player at all in the workings of the Palestinian Authority that is on the verge of total anarchy. The Hamas military wing of terrorists now rules the Palestinians. This wing consists of groups of terrorist militias operating independently of one another. The situation resembles Lebanon of the 1980s even more than before. The Qassam rocket fire into Sderot and Ashkelon will continue for a long time to come. There is no desire on the Hamas camp to try to stop the violence.
The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005 created a vacuum that the various highly motivated terrorist groups filled. Teams of highly motivated terrorist cells probably began building tunnels that the security fence for the purposes of infiltrating Israel. It is very likely there are many tunnels along the Gaza border with Israel that are undiscovered.
The situation is becoming very complex and Israel faces a situation that defies any form of solution. Whatever decision Israel takes will be fraught with dangers of retaliation, which could also harm the kidnapped soldier.