Topic:

Gaza

Why Hamas Escalated – and Why It Is Winning the Present Round

| September 5, 2018

The accumulated deterrence achieved in the three previous rounds of wide-scale fighting between Israel and Hamas in 2008-9, 2012, and 2014 has come to a temporary halt. Israel must start preparing for a massive fourth round – a round in which Israel will, one hopes, replicate the cumulative deterrence it scored against the Arab States in 1973. This would mean subjecting Hamas to a threshold of pain sufficiently unbearable to induce it to stop fighting Israel altogether. 

Regional Players Maneuver to Reengineer the Israeli-Palestinian Landscape

| September 2, 2018

A possible ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, may be about more than ending the ongoing, escalating violence that threatens to spark yet another Gaza war. It could also be an attempt to pave the way for the return of Muhammad Dahlan as successor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas-Israel Truce Would Be “Painkiller, not Antibiotic”

| August 9, 2018

All the economic benefits being offered to Gaza as part of a package deal – an improvement in water and electricity supplies, the construction of a seaport, the cancellation of debts owed by the Hamas government, a relaxation of the Israeli security blockade – hinge on Hamas accepting conditions it is categorically unwilling to countenance.

The Absence of an Israeli Voice in Arabic

An Israeli voice in Arabic was entirely missing during the recent confrontations along the Gaza Strip-Israel border. The media spectrum visible to Palestinians is controlled by Aljazeera as well as Palestinian radio and TV propaganda and indoctrination broadcasts. The Israeli State Comptroller has severely criticized this shortcoming and urged the government to fill the gap, noting that Israel consistently fails to produce an Israeli official broadcast to targeted audiences in Arabic – not even during crises like Operation Cast Lead. Israel must correct this failing in order to deliver direct messages to Palestinian audiences, as well as to function as a psy-op tool.

A Failure at State-Building, Hamas Sticks to Military Buildup in Gaza

| July 23, 2018

Hamas has built up its military wing at the expense of ordinary Gazans, for whom it has completely failed to provide reliable civilian services. Its insistence on focusing exclusively on its military capability keeps tensions high with Israel and renders reconciliation with the Palestinian Authority a near-impossibility.

The Illusion of Israeli-Palestinian Spatial Separation

The situation in the Gaza Strip since the 2005 disengagement debunks three fundamental assumptions that have become axiomatic in the Israeli security discourse: that total separation between Israelis and Palestinians will inevitably enhance security and stability; that the IDF will comfortably win any future confrontation in the evacuated territories; and that Israeli military activity in the previously held territories will enjoy massive international legitimacy and support.

The Limits of Technological Superiority

There is no technological solution to the problem of kite/balloon terrorism. However decisive it may be, technology in and of itself does not guarantee victory.

Hamas’s Kite Terrorism: A Threat that Requires a Decisive Response

Hamas’s kite terrorism may not pose an existential threat, but by turning thousands of hectares of farmland into a wilderness and undermining Israel’s ability to provide peace and security for its frontier residents, it poses a threat that must be removed without delay.

The Three-State Solution

Given Gaza’s sharp deterioration over the past 25 years – first under the PA’s rule (1994-2007), then under Hamas’s control – it is time to consider a new paradigm for resolving the Strip’s endemic predicament, and by extension the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. That paradigm could entail a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and northern Sinai, from Rafah to El-Arish, with the latter territory leased to the Palestinians on a long-term basis.

Economic Benefits Will Not Bring Stability to Gaza

| June 6, 2018

The easing of economic conditions – a strategy that benefited Palestinian areas in the West Bank – is increasingly touted as the way to achieve political stability in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. But this strategy only works after the enemy is defeated.