Hello Mark, The real problem Israel has with Gaza is that it left the place ("disengaged"), and yet refuses to let go of it. The effective (and legal) Occupation continues by maintaining full control over all borders, airspace, and sea lanes. Why did Israel leave Gaza? This was never explained to the public. I think Sharon himself only perceived it intuitively as an advantage, although without going thru an actual calculation. Regardless, once Gaza was disengaged from, and while a security threat continues to exist from there, Israel has only few options without invading again, which would be politically suicidal for Sharon since the Likud rebels would see his policy as a grand failure and will probably succeed in bringing him down. He would become the "Gaza criminal". What can Israel do today to thwart Qassam attacks from Gaza? They play this new game of sonic booms (can't be too effective), and they fire cannons on EMPTY spaces near the Israel border from which Qassams could be launched. Doesn't seem too effective to me since the firing comes AFTER the missiles are launched. In addition, the policy of assasination continues as before. The total threat to Gaza has gone DOWN, while their possibility for attacking Israel has gone UP. The way to deal with Gaza is to really disengage. Let Gaza be free. Geneva Convention will no longer apply. Israel could shutoff electricity to Gaza supplied by Israel. (I suggest a couple of days shut off for any missile attack. Until every refrigerator contains spoiled food.) Even terrorist organization needs public support. Gaza will have to behave. Too bad Sharon & Co. only think about force and more force. But now they are stuck.
U.S. envoy to UN visits Cuba's UN Mission, a first in decades (AP)
from the article: Demons in the skies of the Gaza Strip