As the current round of fighting between Israel and Gaza enters its tenth day, Haaretz analysts weigh in on Operation Protective Edge so far, how to solve the crisis, and the difficult position Israel has found itself in as it faces the challenge from Hamas:
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- Hamas: No Gaza cease-fire yet, Israel must accept demands
The Iron Dome missile defense system is a tactical treasure for Israel, but also a strategic danger, Israel Harel argued. As soon as one rocket slips past the system, which has had a very high rate of rocket interception so far, then there will be a ground incursion into Gaza.
If Israel wants quiet in Gaza, then it must bolster Abbas, and enable him to become a strong regional leader who can also influence Hamas, Haaretz said in its editorial. Israel was wrong to have contributed to eroding Abbas' position. In any case, an agreement with a terror organization will not be a substitute for a serious diplomatic framework. Only this kind of framework will be able to change the threatening reality in the West Bank and Gaza, it added.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is taking center stage in negotiating a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, wrote Zvi Bar'el. This puts the Netanyahu government in a tough spot, because Israel will have to accept the Palestinian president as a party to the agreement. This conflicts with its policy of separation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
However, Israel is actually in no rush to crush the Hamas government in Gaza, Amos Harel wrote. The Israeli army fears that without Hamas, Gaza could descend into a Somalia-like situation, in which dozens of gangs or clans would take over various parts of the coastal enclave, he added.
But on the tenth day of the fighting, we must admit that after years of being complacent and drowsy, Hamas is posing a serious challenge to Israel, and Israel still doesn't have a good solution to the crisis, argued Ari Shavit. When the rockets stop falling and the fighter jets stop bombing, we will have to rethink the threats we face.