Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A New Order for Gaza - Israel's Interests

Philadelphi Corridor

Current objectives:

1. Get the international community to force a settlement on Hamas under which it commits to a cessation of rocket attacks without preconditions.

2. Figure out a viable solution for the arms smuggling problem that involves credible powers who can be trusted to guarantee Israel's security.
"What to do about Hamas' arms smuggling currently appears to be the main sticking point holding up a cease-fire agreement. Israel is holding intensive talks with the United States in an effort to reach a deal that would be acceptable to Egypt. The proposals include sending in the U.S. Army's engineering corps to systematically destroy the entire Philadelphi Road, where the smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border are located. 

Three years ago, on the eve of the disengagement, then GOC Southern Command (and now Deputy Chief of Staff) Dan Harel proposed digging a canal the entire length of the Philadelphi Road to thwart the smuggling. At the time, his idea was dismissed as crazy. So Israel withdrew without any arrangements in place for Philadelphi, and the tunnels under the road became a smuggling superhighway for the rockets now being launched at Be'er Sheva, Ashdod and Gedera."

Source: Amos Harel in Ha'aretz.
In France, we read a slightly different spin on this option in Le Figaro
Plutôt que des observateurs, Israël serait prêt à accepter une force internationale active pour contrôler les 14 km de la frontière et éviter la reconstruction des tunnels détruits depuis le début de l'offensive militaire d'Israël à Gaza, il y a dix jours. Israël suggère que les Etats-Unis fournissent des troupes du génie chargées des tunnels. C'est une façon de remettre toute décision au 20 janvier, jour de l'investiture du président Barack Obama...

Il se trouve que le général James Jones, conseiller pour la sécurité nationale du nouveau président américain, a été chargé en novembre 2007 par Condoleezza Rice d'une mission sur les questions de sécurité liées aux négociations israélo-palestiniennes. L'ancien Chef d'état major des forces de l'Otan avait rédigé un rapport critique de l'armée israélienne et favorable au déploiement dans les territoires palestiniens d'une force internationale sous commandement de l'Otan. Cette idée pourrait bien devenir à l'ordre du jour.
The columnist seems to be arguing that Israel's insistence on having the U.S. play a lead role in a tunnel monitoring scenario is a way to delay the cease fire until January 20. This is silly. Of course the only acceptable solution for Israel would be one that puts the U.S. in a lead role. It's interesting that the writer then links these demands for a Gazan solution to James Jones's old report arguing for a NATO force in the West Bank. That's a pipe dream, and will not become "l'ordre du jour" anytime soon.

Means employed by Israel:

Weaken Hamas militarily and hold out possibility of utter devastation.


1. Hamas will not agree to any settlement.

2. Arms smuggling will not be curtailed even after measures are implemented.

3. IDF may prove unsuccesful in current operations on the ground, giving Hamas a public relations victory.

4. Settlement may end up legitimating Hamas rule and strengthen the organization in the international arena.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the new order for gaza will mean hamas will be driven underground with the full support of the population. abbas will be dispised and will only rule out of fear, like most arab leaders.
with hamas out of the way it will be more dangerous than ever-'better to have someone pissing inside the tent out than from outside the tent in.'
every single argreement with the palestinians has been broken by israel. the so called peace process isn't worth a thing and the palestinians know it.thats why they elected hamas in the first place .after witnessing all the concessions arafat made, which didn't mean a thing, the population turned to the fundermentalist as their savior. fatah is dead and buried now and can only rule through intimidation.
now israel wants the tunnels destroyed which means they will starve the palestinian into submission. this inhuman raid on gaza which will make the region much more uncertain and unsafe for israel. black sreptember was born from the jordanians onslaught which terrorised the world in the 1960s-70s.i think the same thing will happen again. my advie to the israelis is 'forget about going to the olympic'.learn from history