Saturday, August 30

Cease-fire and Stock-taking

The cease-fire was declared on 26th Aug 2014, fifty days after the commencement of Operation Protective Edge resulting in death of about 2200 Gazans and 72 Israelis. The 72nd Israeli succumbed to his wounds on 29th August. According to reports, Hamas requested an unconditional cease-fire. Hamas never got their airport, seaport, release of prisoners and open borders. They also never achieved lifting of the blockade on Gaza. Their bombastic fantasies of victory were played out in Gaza City, when the "brave, victorious", Hamas’s Gazan leadership came out of its underground bunkers, sheltered by human shields, and gave the usual victory speeches so typical of the fantasy world in which they live.

Hamas had achieved nothing; the only victory they achieved was an enhancement of their dreams in their fantasy world, typical of psychopaths and schizophrenics. This war was justified as Israel has a right to defend itself from missiles being launched by Hamas with the intention of killing as many Israelis as possible.

After a month of quiet, the parties will meet in Cairo where the psychopathic, barbaric Hamas will put its original demands on the table, which will be opposed by Israel and Egypt. Will this cause a breakdown of the cease-fire? We will have to wait and see.

Israel will investigate the errors that were made in this campaign. There were tactical errors as there always is in an operation as complex as this one was and conclusions will be drawn. Operation Protective Edge lasted a long time and, despite the heavy losses suffered by Hamas. According to Hamas rhetoric, their motivation to continue the war with Israel remains. Hamas still has the capability of firing missiles and mortars into Israel as we saw hours before a cease-fire was declared with tragic loss of Israeli lives.

As evil as Hamas and their ilk are, there is no doubt that Israel must bear part of the blame for the creation of this terrorist movement that is responsible for so much horrendous terrorist acts against Israelis in the past and present. When Hamas was formed in 1987, it received support from Ariel Sharon because it opposed the PLO. He thought that by supporting Hamas, he would weaken the resolve of the PLO to commit terror against Israel. He adopted a "divide and rule" policy. This was proved a fatal error of judgment on his part.

While the mantra of Hamas is unrelenting in not recognizing Israel's right to exist and its commitment to Israel's total destruction. This was the mantra of the PLO as well prior to the Oslo Accords of 1993.

We are all familiar with the inability of the Arab world to come to terms with Israel's establishment in 1948 and the wars that were declared against Israel over the years with the culmination of the Six Day War of June 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights. Israel became an occupying power and encouraged settlements in these territories.

Israel was viewed then by its supporters as invincible and had the right to encourage settlement in Judea and Samaria (called so by the settler movements who view the West Bank as theirs according to biblical legacy). In previous articles, I have always maintained that settling these occupied lands with religious Jewish Zealots was a grave error and Israel is still paying the price for this folly to this day. The occupied territories should have been used as a bargaining chip to be returned to the Palestinians in exchange for a peace agreement and recognition of Israel's right to exist. It could have been the basis for a future Palestinian state alongside Israel. 

Meanwhile, until the achievement of peace, Israel should have encouraged financial investment in the occupied territories, improved services to the Palestinian people, improving infra-structure, health services and economic viability. This would have been far more constructive as well as serving Israel's interests. It could have achieved a bulwark against hate and terrorism. One must always remember that an occupying power is responsible for the well being of the people that it occupies. Israel missed an opportunity for the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state - all because of lack of foresight and its encouraging of settlement policies in the occupied territories. Israel had neglected the Palestinians under occupation.

The Palestinians were subjected to settler vandalism, including the destruction of their olive tree plantations, agricultural crops and misappropriation of their lands for Jewish settlement. Apologists for the settler movement and occupation have their mantras as well. "We have given the Palestinians employment and they are ungrateful, in return they commit terrorist acts against Israelis!" Wages paid to Palestinians were poor. Many would get up at 3.00 am to catch buses that took them into Israel to get opportunistic work or contract labor under appalling conditions. They had no trade unions, security and exploitation was widespread. The Palestinians remained poverty-stricken and their environment became so bad becoming a target for the establishment of terrorist movements such as Hamas that thrive on the dissatisfaction of poverty-stricken Palestinians with no future or any hope.

Israel, over the years of occupation, had shirked its responsibility towards the indigenous Palestinians, sowing the seeds for the establishment of Hamas and its allies. These terrorist movements could never thrive in an economically strong Palestinian population. Israel had the chance to achieve this with the help of foreign countries, including the US. It would have been cheaper than building a strong army to quell terrorist movements that thrive in hopeless, poverty-stricken situations. A satisfied Palestinian population is the best defense against terror. The encouragement of a Palestinian-destructive Israeli settler movement is a prescription for Palestinian terror.

Another negative phenomenon that occurred during the war was the increase of hate against Arabs in general. This disgraceful development aggravates the relationship between Israel's Arab citizens and Jewish Israelis, which has been exacerbated by Operation Protective Edge. Both peoples, Israelis and Palestinians will have to come to terms with each others right to exist on a shared peace of land. Both peoples are not going to disappear from the Middle East and will remain an integral part.

This war has also proved that Hamas has no place in Gaza and is destroying the Palestinians. There has to be a viable, pragmatic Palestinian leadership that could be given the opportunity to cooperate with Israel, moderate Arab States and the rest of the world in rehabilitating Gaza, which has been severely damaged. It is doubtful if the Palestinian Authority under President Mahmoud Abbas is able to take over this responsibility without world support, including that of Israel and Egypt. Rehabilitation of Gaza on a massive scale can only really begin when there is total disarmament of Gaza. 

Saturday, August 23

Hamas Cruelty and Attrition

It is shocking what is happening in Gaza and Israel with this situation. It is intolerable! My heart goes out to all the innocent people on both sides that are experiencing terrible traumas and tragedy - unbearable loss of life and hatred. It achieves nothing. Here we are faced with horrific, radical Islamist groups with a common bestial ideology - Hamas, ISIS, Islamic Jihad, and who knows what else.

Hamas terrorists getting ready for carrying out executions
It is difficult, if not impossible; to live one's life being threatened by these barbarians, for this is exactly  

what they are! I think of the beheading of the US journalist, James Foley, in Iraq. I think of the Hamas kangaroo courts, executing 22 Palestinians suspected of being informers without having a chance to defend themselves. Any opposition to Hamas coming from Palestinians, who oppose Hamas, are served the death sentence on the spot Unfortunate Palestinians, accused of co-operating with Israel, are shot. Hamas are going into a paranoiac frenzy. Hamas does not care about Palestinians. They are expendable and because of Hamas hate for Israel they have created a hell for Palestinians as well. Israel has a right to defend itself and thank goodness for the Iron Dome and bomb shelters.

Why does Hamas not worry about the safety of the Palestinian People, but only about the safety of their own evil leaders hiding in underground bunkers, or in Qatar (Khaled Mashal, who is conducting a war from his luxury abode in Qatar) leading the good life, commanding the war? I hate the term "disproportionate force". It suits the Hamas agenda. Launching missiles into Israel in order to kill innocent people is also "disproportionate force". It threatens Israeli citizens, who are Palestinian, no less. The similarities of Hamas and ISIS savagery in their common ideology of hate and death serve nobody's interest apart from their own common agenda of hate and cruel murders.

If one thought that Operation Protective Edge had ended after the cease-fire, it just did not occur. The destructive and cruel ideology of Hamas and its leaders is not beaten yet.  We are told by IDF sources that Hamas has been defeated. While there is no denial that they took a severe hammering and their missile launching power severely curtailed, but it has not ceased. We are surprised that missiles are still being fired into the south and a four year old boy, Daniel Tregerman, was killed by an exploding mortar in Kibbutz Nahal Oz near the Gaza border. We remain surprised when volleys of missiles are still being fired into the center of the country. It is with great pride that Hamas took responsibility as if these Hamas Islamist barbarians, who are the other side of the same coin as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), had scored a great victory.

These Hamas Islamist savages have the cheek to demand a seaport, airport, release of terrorists held in Israeli prisons, and uplifting the blockade before agreeing to cease hostilities in order to get arms from their supporters for destroying Israel. If there was no Hamas, but a moderate Palestinian Government that agrees to total disarmament, then Israel would lift the blockade and Gaza could become part of an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel. Israel, EU and US as well as the Arab States could then embark on a serious rehabilitation programme to restore Gaza and give hope to Gazans, whose situation is hopeless at present. While Hamas exists with its cruel ideology and terrorist acts directed by its proxies in Qatar, Mousa Abu Marzouk in Cairo, and the bunkers in Gaza, this is just not going to happen.

While not being a supporter of Avigdor Lieberman, the Foreign Minister and member of the Israeli Cabinet, he is correct in saying that the war against Hamas must not stop until the latter surrenders by raising the white flag. Any other alternative would result in a war of attrition with no end in sight. The terms of the Hamas barbarian terrorists are not negotiable under any circumstances. Returning to Cairo to negotiate with them under Egypt's mediation, directly or indirectly, is no option as we have seen in the very recent past.  It is a waste of time and strengthens Hamas as it calls the tune for ceasefires in order to regroup. HAMAS AND THEIR EVIL BARBARIC ILK MUST BE DESTROYED UNTIL THE LAST HAMAS BARBARIAN CEASES TO EXIST!

To all those double-standard, hypocritical, humanist whackos, who are still adopting the Hamas mantra of ridding Gaza of the Israeli occupation, accusing Israel of using the mantra that Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist and wishes to destroy Israel, are just as evil as Hamas and its ally ISIS.

A Hamas public execution of suspected Israeli callaborator
Foreign journalists in Gaza work under difficult conditions. They are not allowed to report the truth if it is not in Hamas interests. UNRWA schools are used as launching pads for missiles against Israel. Media false reports are coming from Gaza. The truth leaks out when these journalists have completed their various assignments and are in safety out of Hamas-dominated Gaza. I mentioned in a previous post the corruption of UNRWA as UN officials are forced by Hamas to allow the latter to use their facilities as launching sites for missiles into Israel.
Hamas savages dragging live Palestinian opponents by motorcycle until they die.
                     This is what the "humanist" whackos support.

The UN is to blame for the rise of the radical Islamist barbarians. The constant appeasement of these groups by the EU, UN and to a certain extent even the US has given a certain amount of strength to this evil disease of violence, hate and murder. Only Israel is involved in fighting this metastatic Islamist cancer - Hamas! In the background is the UN  pleading with Israel to end the hostilities and declare a unilateral ceasefire, thus strengthening Hamas. This is such sanctimonious hypocrisy! 

Saturday, August 16

On the Verge of War of Attrition

Some of the wreckage as a result of bombings
In Cairocease-fires are being declared. The first cease-fire was upheld for 72 hours twice as starters and the third cease-fire for 5 days. Is peace only going to depend on cease-fires and not on a permanent settlement? This is a true stale-mate and a formula for a war of attrition that suits Hamas. Hamas was beaten but, as in the past wars, they see a victory in their defeat. If this situation slides into a war of attrition it is to their advantage. The human shield tactic worked in Hamas's favor. Many Gazans were killed, many innocent Gazans as well as terrorists. As time goes on we shall receive many heart rending reports of human tragedy.

Hamas has achieved a number of “mini victories" even though they have taken a huge hammering. The pictures of destruction, dead bodies of children, innocent men and woman coming out of Gaza have turned the world against Israel. Israel has given explanations of the Hamas use of human shields and warnings before an attack but this has fallen on deaf ears with many Muslim communities in Europe, US and in many parts of the world. They have organized huge demonstrations against Israel and even lobbied the UNHRC to institute a commission of inquiry into Israel for "committing War Crimes" because of the use of "disproportionate force". The appointed head is Prof. William Schabas Middlesex University, who is known to have an anti-Israel bias and even though he does not admit it, he has prejudged the situation to Israel's disadvantage.
People gather around a vehicle targeted in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City on July 8, 2014. An Israeli air strike on a car in Gaza City killed four people, medics said,

What is "disproportionate force"? Surely the firing of missiles into Israel with the intention to kill innocent citizens is included in this definition. The Iron Dome interceptor system did its job well and prevented casualties thus minimizing Hamas's intention to kill as many Israelis as possible. Had the Iron Dome interceptors not done their job, "disproportionate force" against Israel by Hamas would have been more appropriate.

Another result is the upsurge of anti-Semitism blaming the Jews for Operation Protective Shield. Here we have witnessed a strange unity between extreme left wing and right wing groups. It is as if there is no left wing or right wing. Both groups have amalgamated into an amorphous mass consisting of communists, fascists, Nazis, Islamist extremists, double-standard hypocritical humanists and socialists. What unites them all is an inherent hatred of Jews and Operation Protective Edge was the catalyst that brought the latent anti-Semites out of the cupboard onto the bandwagon of sanctimonious sympathy for Hamas. This is another "mini-victory" for Hamas.

Another achievement of Hamas (I hope that I am wrong) is the constant desire to have cease-fires in order to give them a breathing space - not because of "humanitarian reasons". This is not in the Hamas lexicon. They have proved this in all the three campaigns of aggression against Israel. The Palestinian People are expendable for Khaled Mashaal and his rotten Hamas ilk of cowards, who conduct the war by proxy. The senior leadership of this terror organization is not even in Gaza. Those subordinate to that barbarian, Khaled  Mashaal, are all in bunkers underground protected by human shields. The cease-fires declared are according to the whims of Hamas. This will eventually result in a war of attrition which is to the advantage of Hamas but not for Israel's good. Hamas cannot beat Israel on the battlefield. Their tactic is to wear Israel down by conducting a war of attrition. Hamas has lost almost all its long-range missiles without achieving a killing, which was and still is their intention. They will conduct sporadic firing of short range missiles in the south of Israel in between each declaration of cease-fires. During the cease-fire period, the IDF will remain on alert until an agreement is reached which does not seem close to being achieved.

If there is no agreement then the war will not have achieved very much in the long term. Hamas will make its demands on Israel as if it is the victor. Egypt is also not keen to give in to Hamas demands. This, at least, is to Israel's advantage. It remains to be seen how long this will last. No progress in any agreement means progress in a war of attrition.


Saturday, August 9

"Aftermath" of Operation Protective Edge

English: Khaled Meshaal in a meeting with span...
The evil and deceitful, luxury-loving Hamas political leader, Khaled Mashal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It is premature to talk about the "aftermath" of Operation Protective Edge. There were withdrawals of ground troops and reorganization of IDF in Gaza at various points. A unilateral humanitarian cease-fire was declared by Israel to come into effect at 10 am on 4th Aug 2014 for duration of 7 hours. There were no signs of any negotiations between Israel and Hamas. The situation is one of "quiet for quiet". If Hamas attacks Israel then Israel will respond militarily.

According to the Israeli War Cabinet "All options are on the table". This means that entry of ground forces into bunkers of Gaza, where the Hamas leadership hides is a possibility.

The situation as it stands now appears to be a kind of a stale-mate, despite the severe beating that Hamas received. The leadership of Hamas is hidden in bunkers somewhere beneath the rubble in Gaza. It is uncertain whether the Mossad knows exactly where. Also the capability to launch missiles into Israel remains. All that one can hope for is that Hamas runs out of missiles because of Israel targeting the launching sites or depletion of missiles.

Khaled Mashal, the deceitful, political leader of Hamas, sits in a 5 star palace in Doha, Qatar, is out of touch with the devastation of the Gaza Palestinians. He probably does not care anyway as he has his own selfish agenda of enriching himself and cronying up to the Qatar leadership for funding Hamas. He is an evil despotic, political leader, who has reaped the most benefit in this tragic situation. He lives by his fantasies of destroying Israel by making it "Jude rein" (free of Jews).The fact that he is responsible for the deaths and destruction in Gaza does not seem to worry him. His lavish life-style in Qatar is still being maintained.

The tragedy that is befalling the people of Gaza is of catastrophic proportions. The suffering of innocent Palestinians as well as the high death rate boggles the mind. The Hamas use of human shields, in many cases, is well documented and denied by Hamas. UNRWA buildings and schools became weapon stores and launching pads for Hamas missiles. An attack on UNRWA school is a case in point. It is rather strange that rockets were fired from launching pads into Israel very close to UNRWA facilities in Gaza. The possibility that Hamas bribed UN officials not to disclose these launching pads or weapon stores in UN facilities cannot be ruled out. It may be prudent to investigate UN officials about this. How is it possible that this illegal activity is occurring in UNRWA schools in Gaza without the knowledge of the UN? Surely they must also be held accountable for the human shields employed in UNRWA facilities accounting for the tragedies occurring there. This ought to be investigated by an independent commission of inquiry. 

The UN is capable of overlooking certain crimes especially if it is too close to their "distinguished" members political interests. The responsibility for this terrible tragedy lies on the shoulders of Hamas. This does not absolve Israel entirely either. Israel does appoint a commission  of inquiry and if there are crimes, those responsible are brought to trial. Irrespective of how we view this tragedy of destruction and death, Hamas carried out aggression against Israel by launching missiles with the intention of killing Israelis. They had committed war crimes and had broken every rule in the book. The human shield tactic worked in their favor as it achieved the object of killing as many innocent people as possible in Gaza as well as arousing world opinion against Israel.

Israel is faced with a terrible enemy that is self-destructive. Hamas has been building tunnels for infiltrating into Israel to carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis. This has been going on since Hamas took over Gaza. There had been launching of missiles into the south of Israel for 14 years. Two operations were carried out to stop the threat of missiles and Israel had retaliated. World pressure built up against Israel at the end of each operation and they had to withdraw from Gaza. The hostilities and missile launches continued each time between each operation. Life for Israelis living in Ashkelon, Ashdod, Shderot as well as many community settlements in the south became intolerable. The IDF had to respond in order to halt this Hamas aggression. There was hardly any condemnation from the UN for these infringements. There was no pressure on Hamas to cease the missile launching. How short the memory is!!

On 5th August 2014, Hamas agreed to a cease-fire without preconditions which was brokered by Egypt. The cease-fire was for 72 hours. On Friday, 8th August 3014 at 8.00 am, Hamas did not agree to extension of the cease-fire and even before the end of 72 hours, Hamas could not resist and at 4.00 am they fired missiles into Israel. The sporadic firing of missiles has continued into southern Israeli towns. The IDF has responded. It appears that Hamas has notreached a point of surrendering and despite the heavy damage that the IDFinflicted on them, they are still capable of firing missiles and their motivation for doing so has not been harmed. Maybe they need a more severe pummeling than what they have received to date.

The Hamas aggression against Israel will continue sporadically. We are on the threshold of a war of attrition that can go on indefinitely. The IDF will retaliate and the reports from the Israeli side are that the IDF will step up its power of retaliation while missiles continue to be launched.

Meanwhile negotiations are still going on in Cairo without Israeli participation.
The demands of Hamas are unreasonable. They behave as if they have won the war. They want a removal of the Israeli blockade, a seaport, freedom of prisoners captured by Israel, an airport. Hamas is not prepared to disarm. The most they are prepared to give in exchange is a "tahida" a period of non-violence for as long as they (Hamas) want. Nothing is mentioned about recognizing Israel's right to exist or stopping their aggression against Israel

Those double-standard, hypocritical, "humanists" who cry crocodile tears for the Hamas "Liberation Movement" and the Palestinian Gaza tragedy that Hamas created are raising their self-righteous eye-brows. They are saying: "There goes that mantra of Israel again - Hamas wanting to destroy Israel" as well as "Israel bringing up the subject of the world being blind to the torture and killings in Syria, Sudan, Libya and Iraq as an attempted justification for what the IDF has done in Gaza". “There are disproportionate retaliations against innocent Gazans". I got news for you, you self-righteous, sanctimonious, "humanists"! The mantra of Hamas wanting to destroy Israel is created by Hamas by their own admission and by their own actions - missiles, terror, suicide bombings, kidnappings and killings, of not only Israelis, but Palestinians as well, who oppose their methods of cruelty.  The latter's fate is determined by a kangaroo court at best or large scale executions at worst, usually by torture. Sanctimonious humanists, has the message not sunk in? Double-standard "humanists" usually filter out truths that they do not wish to know. For them ignorance is bliss. It bolsters their pathetic world view.
Two rockets fired by Gaza militants slammed into southern Israel before dawn on Friday, heightening fears that a 72-hour truce nearing its end would not be ..

Another mantra by Hamas is that the occupation of Palestine began in 1948 and Israel must be destroyed, replaced by a Palestinian State. This is not an Israeli mantra but the ideology of Hamas.

If Hamas would annul their Charter and negotiate a peace  treaty with Israel, recognizing Israel's right to exist, the siege on Gaza would be lifted and Israel would play its part with the rest of the world to rehabilitate Gaza so that the Gazans would have a future and would take its place alongside Israel as part of an independent Palestinian State including the West Bank. Hamas apparently does not want this, but I am sure that the Palestinian people do. They also want stability and an end to this terrible catastrophe that Hamas has brought upon them. Hamas abused the people of Gaza by using them as human shields as mentioned in this article and previous articles.

How can Israel lift the siege making it easier for lethal weapons from Iran and other countries sympathetic to Hamas to arrive unhindered into Gaza?

The choice of choosing the path to peace is in the hands of Hamas. Israel is prepared to negotiate peace.

Saturday, August 2

Gaza - Where to?

A major objective of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge is the destruction of the vast network of tunnels that Hamas militants use to smuggle weapons and to infiltrate into Israel itself. Here’s a look at the Hamas tunnels and the threat they pose to Israeli security.
Scene of destruction in Gaza 
Where to, Gaza? Nobody can answer that question with certainty. A 72 hour cease-fire has been declared today with the agreement of Hamas and Israel. It is doubtful if it will be kept. The Hamas record of maintaining declared cease-fires is non-existent. During Operation Protective Edge, five cease-fires were declared and were never observed. These cease-fires were unilateral and never accepted by Hamas.

The last 72 hour cease-fire was supposed to be a humanitarian gesture. It was broken two hours after it was declared with the kidnapping of a soldier, Hadar Goldin (23). This occurred during an IDF operation of destroying a tunnel when a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing two IDF soldiers. Hamas denies kidnapping this soldier. His whereabouts are unknown.

On the ground, Israel has scored a victory against Hamas but they will not be allowed to consolidate it. The reasons for this war are well-known. Hamas had started it by firing missiles into Israel. Israel's response is to protect its citizens from missile fire into its territory. Every country would do the same to protect its citizens. Hamas is not prepared to recognize Israel's right to exist. They had prepared a myriad of tunnels, not for having a picnic, but for organizing terrorist infiltration underground to perform a major terror attack against Israeli citizens. This would be coordinated with missile launching at the same time. According to reports, the planned attack was scheduled to take place on Rosh Hashanah as most people would be on holiday for two days.

Israeli intelligence had knowledge of these tunnels, but no action was taken to stop them from being built. Also the tunnels are more widespread than was initially believed. Israelis are well protected by the Iron Dome interceptor missiles as well as bomb shelters. This explains the low casualty figures. Had it not been for the Iron Dome, the casualty figures would have been much higher.
Israelis were inconvenienced by the sirens, having to run into security shelters many times a day. This situation is stressful, but it is a small price compared to what innocent citizens of Gaza have paid. The destruction and death in Gaza is an enormous tragedy of incomprehensible dimensions. Total devastation of innocent Gazans and their children is of great concern to all of us. The tactic of Hamas using innocent people as human shields has worked against Israel successfully and it is influencing world opinion against Israel.

Many scenes of destruction and human suffering in Gaza work against Israel. Even while I write, there are reports of exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas terrorists. It is dreaming to expect that the Hamas terrorist organization will keep to its part of the cease-fire. Their ideology does not agree to any cease-fire or cessation of hostilities as mentioned earlier in this article. The cease-fire has already been broken at 10.00 am by Hamas. This has resulted in 9 Palestinians being killed. A mortar was fired from Gaza into Kerem Shalom about 2 hours after the "declared" cease-fire. This should not surprise us as in this campaign; Hamas will only accept a cease-fire on its terms.

Despite this cease-fire, Israel will continue to blow up the Gaza tunnels. It claims that it has almost completed its mission. There are still questions as to whether Israel will deepen its military activities in Gaza if the cease-fire does not hold. There will be more cabinet meetings to decide on the next military steps to be taken.

There are extreme left wingers who justify the building of these tunnels. They say "What do you expect? The people of Gaza are enclosed in a small area - the most populated per square kilometer on earth. They are in a massive prison blockaded on all sides by Israel and Egypt. They are fighting against the occupation and seek ways of getting out." They refuse to believe that the purpose of these tunnels is for infiltration of terrorists to attack Israel's citizens.
Meanwhile Israel is winning the war but losing the peace. Pressure will mount against Israel from the US and the EU to stop the war. The pictures of devastation and tragedy in Gaza have an affect on world opinion.

What should be a matter of deep concern is the resilience of Hamas and their ability to launch missiles into Israel despite the severe bombings from land, sea and air. Nobody knows what percentage of Hamas terrorists were killed or wounded out of the total number of Palestinians affected. If Hamas still has the capability of launching rockets then it is possible that the command centers are still intact and have not been defeated. The leadership remains hidden in underground bunkers and probably out of touch with what is happening. The price is being paid by innocent Palestinians and this is the big tragedy.

President Obama made a speech condemning the kidnapping of the soldier and demanding his immediate release as well as the killing of two Israeli soldiers. Naturally his appeal will be ignored by Hamas. What has struck us the most about the US leadership, including John Kerry, is their naivety towards Hamas. They somehow are between the devil and the deep blue sea in their attitude towards Hamas. Hamas does not want peace or a cease-fire except on their terms only, which Israel and Egypt will not accept. Apart from that there is no coordinating body in Hamas with whom to negotiate. The US has proved impotent in the face of Hamas and their strength remains in arranging cease-fires that cannot be kept.

The fighting continues without any sign of abating. Israel will never destroy Hamas apart from weakening Hamas militarily. Hamas has an uncompromising ideology that can never be destroyed. Many Palestinians view Hamas as a freedom movement that strives to end the occupation. They strive to be the only rulers of Palestine. Hamas leaders are not in Gaza and dictate by proxy. Hamas members have a fatal, cruel and self-destructive fantasy that they will not change.

Hamas is not scared of sacrificing its people for its cause even at a heavy cost in blood. What does the leadership care? Khaled Mashal loves the good life in Qatar and his subordinates who carry out his desires are in bunkers out of touch with the suffering of the Gazan People. The heavy losses that Gazans suffer play into their hands while they do nothing. The TV reports and gruesome pictures of the Palestinian tragedy and losses do the job for their propaganda mission against Israel.

The people of Gaza are doomed to a life of hell and endless suffering if Hamas remains at the helm. The cruelty that Hamas carries out against Palestinians who are suspected of opposing them is horrendous. The future of Gaza is uncertain.