The Countdown to the Next Gaza Conflict Has Begun

Thousands of armed Hamas troops showed off their military hardware at a Dec. 14, 2014 parade in Gaza, marking the organization's 27th anniversary. (Image source: PressTV video screenshot)
Thousands of armed Hamas troops showed off their military hardware at a Dec. 14, 2014 parade in Gaza, marking the organization’s 27th anniversary. (Image source: PressTV video screenshot)

Hamas could, with a fair amount of ease, cause Israel to end its security blockade by accepting the terms of the international Quartet. These include recognizing the state of Israel, renouncing violence and abiding by past agreements.

Of course, those would contravene Hamas’s ideology of Islamist jihad and move it away from its current trajectory of organized violence and religious hatred, the foundations upon which it was established in the 1980s by the Muslim Brotherhood.

For now, it seems, Hamas will try, as it has been doing for months, to orchestrate terrorism in the West Bank, on the opposite side of Israel, while upholding its truce in Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces, too, has spent recent months preparing to respond if there is a fresh round of hostilities.

More than three months have passed since the end of the fifty-day conflict between Hamas in Gaza and Israel this past summer, yet all of the catalysts that helped spark that war remain in place and are pushing the sides into their next clash.

One of the reasons Hamas launched a war in July this year was to try to end its strategic isolation, which became severe after the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood in next-door Egypt. Hamas also sought to improve its crumbling economic situation as the ruler of the Gaza Strip; its dire situation was illustrated by Hamas’s inability to pay 40,000 of its Gazan employees their monthly salaries.

Hamas could, with a fair amount of ease, cause Israel to end its security blockade by accepting the terms of the international Quartet. These would include recognizing the state of Israel, renouncing violence and abiding by previous diplomatic agreements. Of course, those would contravene Hamas’s ideology of Islamist jihad and move it away from its current trajectory of organized violence and religious hatred, the foundations upon which it was established in the 1980s by Palestinian members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Written by: YAAKOV LAPPIN – continue at GATESTONE INSTITUTE

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