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November 19th, 2012
The lead article in today’s New York Times, “Gaza Clash Escalates with Deadliest Israeli Strike,” does not give much hope for cessation of the hostilities anytime soon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demands that all rocket strikes from Gaza stop before he ends the airstrikes, while Hamas asks for the opposite, plus an end to the seige of the Gaza Strip.
Hamas may think it is in a better negotiating position thanks to the new Islamist government in Egypt, but the reality on the ground tells a whole different story. Hamas is thoroughly outgunned, and a land invasion threatened by Israel will decimate its soldiers and civilians alike. This is no time for Hamas to be making demands.
Plus President Obama has backstopped any Israeli action by his correct acknowledgement that no people would tolerate a situation where their civilians were being attacked by rockets on a regular basis. And the prospect of international condemnation has never stopped Israel before, and it won’t stop them this time either.
So unless Hamas scales back its demands, it will not only find its organization gone but many of its people as well. The question now is how many more Gazan deaths will it take before it reaches this realization. One hopes it is sooner rather than later.
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