Israel Banks on a Fence
The Future of Palestine
Israel's New Strategy
Can Hamas Be Tamed?
The Hamas Conundrum
The Untamed Shrew, Four Years On
Letter From Gaza: Hamas the Opportunist
Hamas’ Tunnel Diplomacy
How to Handle Hamas
The Perils of Ignoring Gaza's Leadership
The Palestinian Spring?
Hamas and Fatah Have Unified, but not Yet Reconciled
Israel's Gamble in Gaza
The Perils of Operation Pillar of Defense
Why The Group Thought It Could Get Away With Striking Israel
Where Hamas Goes From Here
Time To Regroup or Rupture
Hamas' Not-So-Secret Weapon
Meet Salah al-Arouri, the Man Behind the Group's Kidnapping Strategy
Why Cairo Can't Broker a Ceasefire Between Israel and Hamas
The Near Enemy
Why the Real Threat to Israel Isn't in Gaza
Bibi's First War
Why Benjamin Netanyahu Has Never Liked Military Conflict
How Hamas Won
Israel's Tactical Success and Strategic Failure
Gaza's Bottle Rockets
Why Hamas' Arsenal Wasn't Worth a War
Notes From the Underground
The Long History of Tunnel Warfare
Why Withdrawing From the West Bank Would Make Israel Safer
Why Israel Should Stop Pushing Hamas to Give Up Its Weapons
Is Trusteeship for Palestine the Answer?
On August 2, after 26 days of fighting, Israeli troops began to withdraw from Gaza. The move was soon followed by a full redeployment out of the Strip as part of Israel’s acceptance of a 72-hour ceasefire brokered by Egypt, which could be a prelude to full ceasefire negotiations. In the past, any talk of scaling back has been met with public calls in Israel for continued military operations to defeat and disarm Hamas. But, these days, it seems that Israel is focusing on a more realistic exit strategy. Indeed, although eventual disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of the combatants in the Gaza Strip would no doubt be a good thing, demanding disarmament and demilitarization without a long-term political solution to the fighting is both unrealistic and unhelpful.
Over the past few weeks, as Hamas and Israel sparred once more, there has been a growing awareness within Israel that the quiet-for-quiet formula -- which is based predominantly on military deterrence and has guided relations between Israel and Hamas -- at least since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 -- has failed to provide Israel with long-term security. In turn, a number of political and security officials have suggested that Israel should settle for nothing less than a fully demilitarized Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has picked up the call, arguing during a mid-July press conference that, the “most important step for the international community to insist on” is “the demilitarization of Gaza.” He reiterated that call again on August 4, insisting that the “rehabilitation of Gaza” should be linked to a process of demilitarization, a hint that this issue might factor into upcoming ceasefire talks.
The international community has followed suit. On July 22, EU foreign ministers issued a statement calling on all terrorist groups in Gaza to disarm. And in a speech last week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the group’s post-war disarmament would be a key element in creating stable peace. Although “disarmament” and “
Loading, please wait...