Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922
Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gaza - Oust Hamas Or Surrender To Terror

[Published January 2009]

Concern for Gaza’s civilian population has engendered a wave of demonstrations around the world over the past few days as Israel’s army enters Gaza to try and effectively end the incessant barrage of rockets and mortars that have been fired indiscriminately into Israel’s population centres by Hamas for the last eight years.

Significantly missing from those demonstrations were any signs demanding “Hamas Out”.

There were plenty of banners saying “Free Palestine” but not one saying “Free Gaza”, “Hamas End Occupation” or “Hamas Handover To Abbas”.

Even Israel has stated its current incursion into Gaza is not designed to bring about regime change. One would hope the attainment of this objective has not really been foregone but remains the ultimate- but as yet unexpressed - goal to be achieved.

Mahmoud Abbas and every spokesman for the Palestinian Authority - thrown out of Gaza by Hamas eighteen months ago and locked in a bitter internecine struggle with Hamas for political control of Gaza ever since then - have not called on Hamas to leave Gaza to end the suffering of Gaza’s population.

No world leader has taken the frequent opportunities afforded by CNN, Fox or the BBC to call for Hamas to be removed from Gaza.

Indeed there has not been one demonstration by Gaza’s civilian population calling on Hamas to end its rocket and mortar attacks on Israel to end the insufferable horrors that are now occurring in Gaza.

Hamas has entrenched its armed forces and its rocket and mortar stocks in civilian population centres. Hamas knows full well the inevitability of heavy Gazan civilian casualties being sustained as Israel seeks to root out and destroy Hamas fighters located there - virtually ensuring the intensity of these world-wide demonstrations increasing as those Gazan civilian casualties continue to climb.

All demonstrations and current calls from world leaders instead only demand an immediate cease fire – not the ouster of Hamas from Gaza.

If such a cease fire is ever achieved Hamas would still be the dominant power in Gaza. What has been happening for the last ten days would then only become round one in a contest between Israel and Hamas guaranteed to be renewed with definite certainty and even greater ferocity at some time in the future.

Amazingly too the concern of the world community with the welfare of Gaza’s civilian population has not included a demand that the Rafah crossing – controlled by Egypt – be opened to allow at least Gaza’s women and children to be evacuated whilst the conflict continues. The Arab League has been shamefully silent in making any such demand obviously preferring to keep Gazans penned in as virtual hostages and human shields to become potential casualties in an effort to discredit Israel’s attempts to end the Hamas campaign against Israel.

Everyone seems to have also forgotten that Hamas has been declared a prescribed terrorist organization by America, the European Union, Japan, Canada and Australia. Hamas has been declared as an illegitimate usurper of power in Gaza by the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas has stymied any efforts to create a 22nd Arab State in Gaza and the West Bank – a political settlement which has no possible chance of happening whilst Hamas controls Gaza and admittedly very little chance of eventuating even if Hamas is ousted from power.

The only satisfactory outcome to Israel’s incursion into Gaza can be the removal of Hamas from Gaza. Anything less will signal an enormous victory for terrorist groups world -wide who will be able to count on hiding behind civilians to ensure that heavy civilian casualties will be the breaking point on which attempts to eliminate the terrorists will ultimately founder.

All terrorist groups must be heartened by the current world-wide demonstrations that focus on Gaza’s undoubted humanitarian crisis and completely ignore the root cause of Gaza’s problem today – the decisions made by Hamas that have brought the territory and its citizens to the disastrous position that they now face.

Israel is doing the world’s dirty work in combating the ugly face of terrorism as it is so ruthlessly exploited in Gaza. There are no NATO forces or troops from other countries supporting Israel’s attempt to silence the Hamas barrage.

Israel has had to take up the gauntlet once again in fighting terrorism as it did when faced with very similar circumstances involving the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Lebanon in 1982. At the conclusion of Israel’s then campaign Yasser Arafat and 14000 armed PLO fighters were exiled to Tunisia following mediation by US Ambassador – Philip Habib.

The cancer that had affected both the civilian populations of Israel and Lebanon had been removed.

A Multinational Force was authorized to facilitate the process and to provide protection for Palestinian civilians left in Lebanon. On August 21, 1982 French troops arrived and on August 24 the US Marines went ashore in Beirut. The PLO evacuation was completed without significant incident and the Marines withdrew to their ships on September 10.

A similar outcome is possible - and is essential - if Gazans are to be freed from the conflict and instability that has dogged them since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and Hamas ejected the Palestinian Authority from Gaza in 2007.

To enable this to happen Hamas must be militarily ground down to the point where it is in danger of complete extinction unless it retires to lick its wounds and reconsider its options if it wishes to be taken seriously as having any political standing in resolving the Arab - Jewish conflict over the territory once called Palestine.

As diplomatic efforts now step into top gear the consequences of leaving Hamas in control in Gaza need to be fully understood.

Israel must be given the opportunity to militarily end the Hamas reign of terror in Gaza.

Failure to facilitate allowing this to occur will most certainly be a recipe for further conflict and even greater suffering by a civilian population which has paid an inordinately high price for electing Hamas to a position where it was able to lead the civilian population down the road to despair that faces it today.

Continuing terror or the prospect of peace are the options facing the world as they grapple diplomatically in trying to end the war on terrorism in Gaza.

Hopefully they make the right choice.

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