Preventing the Next Gaza War – Giora Eiland
(Daily Alert, Feb. 17, 2017)
In the past decade, Hamas policy in Gaza has been a sort of compromise between the relatively cautious civilian wing and the military wing. With the rise of a new Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, there is only a military leadership, and it is very militant.
To prevent an expected conflict with Hamas, Israel should make a sharp change in the way we’ve acted in the past and clarify to Hamas that if it fails to maintain the calm, Gaza’s residents will be prevented from receiving any economic aid, including the massive UN support it receives. In other words, Gaza will not be able to have the best of both worlds – attack Israel with rockets while knowing there is someone else feeding its residents.
When the rocket fire begins, Israel will immediately close the Kerem Shalom crossing. A normal state does not keep providing supplies to a state it is at war with. If the Hamas government wants to end its civilians’ suffering it must stop the rocket fire. On the carrot side, Israel should encourage infrastructure reconstruction in Gaza which will provide residents with electricity 24 hours a day and drinking water. All this will happen if the calm is maintained.
When everyone – the government in Gaza, its residents, the UN and donor countries – knows that as soon as Gaza opens fires this infrastructure will be destroyed, even a government headed by Sinwar will not rush into a decision to stop playing by the rules. Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland is a former head of Israel’s National Security Council. (Ynet News)
Does Hamas’ New Leader Portend War in Gaza? – Yoni Ben Menachem (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Yahya Sinwar has become the number-one leader of Hamas in Gaza. On Feb. 14, he boasted: “I will make Netanyahu cry.”
Avi Dichter, former head of the Israel Security Agency and current head of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, called Sinwar “Sheikh of the Murderers” and expressed regret that Israel had not assassinated him in the past, asserting that “even today he is not immune.”
Hamas fears that Israel will look for the right opportunity to do away with Sinwar.
The new Gaza leadership is mostly made up of senior leaders of the military wing and pro-Iranian political figures. Sinwar’s deputy Khalil al-Hayya is one of Iran’s supporters. Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar is Iran’s strongest backer in the Hamas top echelon.
Also this, from Israel Hayom:
‘Israel would be the first to help Gaza if Hamas relinquished terror’
“We have to find the right formula that allows both people not only to exist but also to thrive,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman says • Israel has no plans to initiate conflict in south but “any provocation will meet a forceful response,” he warns.
by Lilach Shoval