Friday, September 01, 2006

 

commentary from IMRA


Thursday, August 31, 2006
Weekly Commentary: Facing up to challenge of reality in Gaza

Dr. Aaron Lerner

The Qassam rockets that slammed into Sderot today along with the huge tunnel
discovered near the Karni crossing served as bleak reminders that the Gaza
challenge cannot be ignored.

A challenge that is growing by leaps and bounds as weapons and military
know-how pour in from Egypt while the various militias compete to build an
extensive network of tunnels and other facilities for the war against
Israel.

The Gaza threat is hardly a "local" nuisance. The capabilities being
developed will put a considerable part of Israel within striking distance -
this when major strategic facilities are already within range of weapons
systems that have already be operated from Gaza. And while a painfully
escalating ongoing war of attrition, in-and-of-itself, would be detrimental
to the Jewish State, this pales in comparison to the danger the Gaza threat
poses should Palestinian attacks take place within the framework of a
regional clash.

What, then, is the solution?

Give Egypt a more active role? They haven't taken seriously their
obligation to control the flood of weapons from Egypt into Gaza and their
chief interest so far has appeared to be preserving the strength of the
various illegal militias.

International inspectors? They've been a farce at the Rafah Crossing.

How about negotiating a "hudna"? But all "hudna" means is that the
Palestinians can focus their resources on preparing for battle as they don't
have to fear Israeli strikes on their facilities.

How about going to final status talks? In the best of realistic scenarios
it means ultimately facing the very same threat but with the added
complication that Gaza is an internationally recognized sovereign entity.

So what's left?

Retaking overall control of Gaza would hardly be a picnic. But it is still
very doable. And at a cost that's a bargain as compared to the cost of
postponing the inevitable.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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