Analysis: Plenty of plans but no solution

While Israeli officials privately predict an imminent ground operation, there is no pretence that this will solve anything.

Israel has the military capability to re-occupy the Strip, but has no desire to re-assume responsibility for 1.5 million Gazans, quite apart from the vast cost this would entail, both human and financial.

Israel has been limiting itself to striking directly at rocket-launching teams. Now this is likely to be extended to hitting rocket workshops and Hamas leaders — with the inevitable civilian casualties.

Hamas has options, too — not least upgraded weaponry with the firepower to reach as far as Beersheva, and its leaders have threatened to begin suicide bombings within Israel.

Escalation will be met with escalation and all a PR campaign can do is attempt to put this in context, and to try to ameliorate pressure from foreign governments to rein in IDF activity.

Hamas seems to be ready to endure an intense period of conflict with the aim of then re-negotiating a ceasefire under more favourable conditions — well aware that the Israeli government is in a transitional phase, if not an entirely chaotic one. No measured, concerted response is likely until a new administration is formed.

So Israelis, especially those within the ever-expanding rocket range, will call in despair for the government to do something — anything. Tzipi Livni and Binyamin Netanyahu will continue to make empty threats. The international community will demand Israel “responds proportionally”. There will be no shortage of advice; but nothing approaching a practical, comprehensive solution.

    Last updated: 2:27pm, November 8 2010

    COMMENTS

    joemillis

    Tue, 12/30/2008 - 13:11

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    There is a practical solution and that is that Hamas and its cronies are demotivated from firing rockets into Israeli population centres. Once that happens, a comprehensive two-state solution can be achieved. But before that, no chance.