The latest escalation of rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza on Israel’s civilian population is a new phase in the unremitting conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Israel’s retaliatory response to these attacks has not been successful in breaking them off or slowing them down. On the contrary, rocket and mortar attacks seemed to have gained momentum in response to Israel’s reaction. The irony of it all comes to light with Hamas’s announcement that it will cease its offensive if Israel puts a stop to its acts of violence against Gaza.
Apparently, Hamas has gained expertise in playing a victim who retaliates in self-defense. The fact that they have been initiating inexhaustible acts of violence against the Jewish state since who knows when is notwithstanding.
Israel must not act on Hamas’s fake offer.
This is not a sincere offer: it’s a test. Hamas knows that once they cease their fire, Israel will stop retaliating. There is no need for their seemingly peaceful proclamations. Nevertheless, Israel’s acceptance of that fake offer will signal a weakness and lack of resolve on Israel’s part. It will be interpreted by Arabs as a license to kill Jews without bearing any consequences.
The next peace initiative must come from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Israel should be the one making conditional ceasefire offers to Hamas, not the other way around. These offers should trail one more campaign to defeat and humiliate Hamas. Peace offers must be made from a position of strength. Otherwise they encourage and invite more aggression, since they signal a noteworthy weakness, a surrender.
Historical examples bear out proofs that appeasing a ruthless enemy induces further hostilities, whereas offering peace to a vanquished foe provides for stability and true peace in its aftermath.
So far, Israeli responses to Hamas’s attacks were confined to destroying buildings, tunnels and other inorganic targets. This must change. Israel should destroy these structures regardless of other terror acts by Hamas. Tunnels dug under the border between Gaza and Israel constitute serious acts of aggression on their own. They must be destroyed as soon as they are discovered.
Israel should stop retaliating. The Jewish state should get down to eradicating— go after the evil leadership, make it personal, issue a fatwa on their heads, help them meet with their 72 Virgins, sooner rather than later. Once these Hamas terrorists feel the heat on their own skin, they will come to their senses; they will make genuine efforts to cool it; they will beg for an unconditional ceasefire.
There is only one way Israel should deal with Hamas — make them an offer they can’t refuse.