Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Israel prepares for long struggle with Hamas

Senior figures in the Israeli defense establishment have indicated a serious Israeli intention to defeat Hamas rather than coopt or moderate it, in meetings with NCF members during our latest trip to Israel. In the following JTA article Leslie Susser looks at Israel's long term strategy towards Hamas.

Both sides have an interest in continuing the fighting. Hamas wants to embarrass Israel and consolidate its position as the leading force in Palestinian politics. Israel wants to deal Hamas a crippling blow and help elevate the status of the more moderate Fatah movement on the Palestinian street. The hope is that an empowered Fatah, under Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, could become a genuine negotiating partner.

In a Cabinet meeting Sunday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signaled Israel's intentions. "There will be no limit in acting against the terror groups and against those who are responsible for the terror. No one is immune," he warned. Indeed, there is no Israeli commitment to stop military pressure on Hamas, even if it stops firing the makeshift rockets.

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1 comment:

William said...

Whereas the actualeffect of Israel's policy is to empower Hamas and strengthen the National Unity government whilst weakening Abu Mazin and Fatah. Abu Mazin's popularity is at its lowest point ever, whereas Hamas has regained some of the popularity it lost as a consequence of Israel's attacks