September 22, 2019

Four short questions about Gaza

As exchanges of fire around Gaza continue (rockets fired on Israel, targets hit in Gaza), here are four questions for which I’m not sure I have an answer:


Is there a better option for Israel than the one it is using now – namely, to defend Israel’s citizens with the Iron Dome system (quite successfully), shoot suspected terrorists, and work through third parties (Egypt, Europe) to end yet another cycle of violence with yet another fragile cease-fire? While talk about a Cast Lead II operation tends to spread whenever there’s fire in Gaza, I don’t see much appetite for it right now in Israel, and no real pressure to do it as long as Israeli civilians get through this recent escalation without much damage. 


Can the terrorists of Gaza find a way to circumvent the successes of Iron Dome? Clearly, if they can’t do it, their rockets become much less effective and Israel’s freedom of action becomes much more pronounced. I’m sure the Gazans and their allies (Iran included) are thinking about new ways to hurt Israel, and can only hope it will take them a very long time to come up with some good ideas.


I read this morning that the Quartet of Middle East negotiators – the United States, Russia, the United Nations and European Union – “will meet on Monday to discuss the long-stalled peace process between Israel and the Palestinians”. That’s probably a joke, right?


If one has to list the possible doomsday scenarios in Gaza, what we have now (occasional outbursts of violence) is hardly top of the list – this list:

  1. Chaos.
  2. Having to reoccupy and control Gaza.
  3. Constant barrages of rocket fire.

In light of this list, can Israel really strive to topple Hamas without having someone ready, willing and able to control the area? Can you imagine a candidate for such thankless job?