Violence between Israel and the Palestinian refugees in Gaza have
calmed somewhat since Israel's major offensive over a year ago, but it
is far from peaceful. Over the weekend, an Israeli air strike killed
three gunmen in Gaza. Also over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved plans
to build a wall along the Israel-Egypt border, where Gaza is located,
to keep out migrants and promote border security. Israel's Gaza policy
may have also had recent repercussions outside the region, as the
Jordanian suicide bomber who killed seven CIA agents
in Afghanistan may was reportedly 'enraged'
by the Gaza war. Should Israel rethink Gaza?
- Yes, 'Before It's Too Late' Haaretz explains,
"There is no easy solution to the troubles of 1.5 million poor
Palestinians under double blockade, by Israel and Egypt, and whose
government is being boycotted by countries around the world. A renewal
of rocket fire shows that even a major military operation that brought
death and destruction cannot ensure long-term deterrence and calm."
They write, "Instead of erring by invoking the default solution of
more force, which does not create long-term security or ease the
distress of the Palestinians in Gaza, the crossings between Israel and
the Gaza Strip should be opened and indirect assistance rendered to
rebuild its ruins."
- CIA Bomber and Gaza Juan Cole explores what may have flipped al-Balawi. "What is fascinating is the way al-Balawi's grievances tie together the
Iraq War, the ongoing Gaza atrocity, and the Western military presence
in the Pushtun regions-- the geography of the Bush 'war on terror' was
inscribed on his tortured mind," he writes. "[F]rom a social science, explanatory point of view, what we have to
remember is that there can be a handful of al-Balawis, or there can be
thousands or hundreds of thousands. It depends on how many Abu Ghraibs,
Fallujahs, Lebanons and Gazas the United States initiates or supports
to the hilt. Unjust wars and occupations radicalize people."
- Hamas's 'Nerve-Racking Game' The Jerusalem Post quotes a Hamas official, "Anyone who thinks Hamas is in a weak position in the
prisoner exchange negotiations is wrong. Israel will eventually lose
the nerve-racking game, and will accept all of the conditions set by Hamas for Schalit's release." Gilad Schalit is a captured Israel Defense Force soldier who has been held by Hamas in Gaza since 2006.
- Only Gazans Can End War The Weekly Standard's Rachel Abrams argues
that Israel can never really stop Hamas on its own. "Only ordinary
Gazans themselves have the power to do that," she writes, pleading with
Gazans to "ask themselves why they've been sentenced by [Hamas leader]
Khaled Meshaal and his masters in Damascus and Syria to live lives as
less than humans, as pawns in Hamas's own very nerve-racking game; and,
feeling all the horror of what they've become, begin to contemplate
taking a stand against it. The moment they do will be the moment
Hamas's power over them--and the Israelis--ends."
- Israel Listening to Global Opinion? Global Post's Ben Lynfield thinks
the "decision by Israel to take legal advice during combat marks a
acknowledgment that its international standing has been badly wounded
by last year's bombardment of Gaza." He report, "According to the
decision, legal officers will be involved in battle
decision-making and a greater emphasis will be placed on educating
officers in the rules of war and international law." The move comes
after "Israeli officers were forced to cancel an official visit to
because London could not guarantee they would not face arrest under
universal jurisdiction provisions for alleged war crimes in Gaza."
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