31 July 2014
Amid the death and destruction raining down on the Gaza Strip, there is a sliver of hope. Seldom have the makings for a mutually agreed long-term arrangement that would give both parties a degree of stability and security, and allow for Palestinian, as well as Israeli, economic growth been better than today.
In fact, in a perverse way, the Israeli assault on Gaza has improved chances for such an arrangement by politically strengthening Hamas, the Islamist militia, which is no match for the Israeli military but has already scored a psychological victory.
Hamas demonstrated its ability to reach major Israeli cities with its rockets, infiltrate Israel proper, persuade international airlines to halt flights to Tel Aviv and put up fierce urban resistance inside Gazan towns.
Israel hopes to weaken and demilitarise Hamas but not totally eradicate it because that could open the door to more militant Islamist groups taking control of Gaza. In its view, a weakenedHamas would strengthen Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and either undermine the Palestinian position or render it incapable of negotiating a final solution of the conflict on terms remotely acceptable to Palestinians.
… The writer is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Wurzburg and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World Of Middle East Soccer. The article first appeared in RSIS Commentaries.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 31/07/2014