IDF soldiers near Gaza
Photo: AP
The harsh truth about Gaza
There’s no solution for Qassams at this time, yet ultimately IDF will reoccupy Gaza

This is the finest hour of various celebrities and spin-doctors. Politicians and military officers, mostly retired, will spread across all television screens and radio stations in the coming days and attempt to present the recipe for Israel’s salvation: Occupy Gaza, attack a neighborhood, destroy a district, kill Hamas leaders.


The offices of the prime minister and defense minister will be flooded in the coming days with advice courtesy of good citizens who want the best for the State of Israel and for the IDF. These citizens will raise various ideas, some of them odd, and they will be convinced that this is the only way.


So what should we do? After all, it’s impossible to remain silent and restrained under the current circumstances. There is a limit to everything. There will be many amongst us, and not necessarily ignorant figures, who would say: Let’s occupy Gaza. Let’s eliminate it.


For such solution there is no need to graduate military college with distinction. This is, precisely, the solution Hamas is interested in – a trap to IDF forces who may be able to occupy this cursed Strip, yet at an unbearable human toll. Not only the IDF learned lessons from previous wars; so did Hamas.


And after we occupy Gaza, will Qassams no longer land on Sderot? Gaza is large enough to enable Hamas men to continue operating far away from the IDF’s watchful eye. (To those who forgot: The IDF pursued bomb-maker Yahya Ayyash, “the engineer,” for five consecutive years, and during most of this time Israel was still in control of the Strip.)


So perhaps we should impose a siege on Gaza, and prevent water and electricity from them? Well, what are we doing today? True, it’s not exactly a tight siege, but the international community is already slamming us. Should we disregard the world? That would be a blatantly unwise recommendation.


Israel demands victory

Yet the cruel, harsh, difficult-to-digest truth is as follows: At this time there is no suitable solution

to the Qassam problem – neither for Sderot nor for the residents of Gaza-region communities or for Ashkelon. A thousand magicians such as Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu, or Avigdor Lieberman will not resolve this problem. All the talk about a technological solution is inaccurate, to say the least, and even if it becomes accurate one of these days, we are talking about solutions that will only become available to the IDF in a year and a half, or two, or five.


Yet the even harsher truth is that there is no other way: Ultimately, the IDF will apparently have to reoccupy Gaza, or a large part of it.


For years, up until recently, the IDF pampered Israel’s citizens with victories, either grand ones or otherwise. Now, it must pay the price of its success. The State of Israel demands a solution and victory.


P.S. I would have liked to present good news and some comfort ahead of the Shabbat, following unbearable weeks and months in the south of the country. Yet the words I wrote here with great pain are the whole truth, at least in the eyes of the writer.


פרסום ראשון: 02.29.08, 15:13
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