Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Brewing conflict: Israel vs. the World (Update II)

Israel has now vacated the Gaza strip. Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and others (al Qaida??) will now vie for control.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — For the first time in a decade, the founders and top political leaders of Hamas gathered on the same stage today, vowing to go on fighting Israel and claiming victory for the Israelis' impending withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

In a direct challenge to the Palestinian Authority, the militant leaders rejected the idea of a sole decision-making body for the area and claimed the group's right to possess its own weapons.

Tensions between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have heated up as Israel prepares to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements, with each trying to claim victory for the pullout scheduled to begin after midnight Monday.

Using past history, and current rhetoric, as a guide, I would conclude that almost certainly there will be attacks against Israel from within the Gaza strip. (emphasis mine)

Unlike the Palestinian Authority, which wants to establish an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with east Jerusalem as its capital, Hamas is sworn to the destruction of Israel.

"Hamas remains committed to the choice of resistance as a strategic choice. Hamas remains committed to its military wing and its right to possess weapons," said Ismail Haniyye, a top Hamas leader.

Given this political climate, there will be attacks on Israel. How will Israel respond? Previously Israeli response has been targeted assassinations, and excursions (raids) into suspect areas. Now that all Israeli presence has been removed from Gaza, the way is cleared for more massive air and artillery responses. Will this happen? My guess is yes.

What will the world's reaction be to a massive response to an attack? Past history shows that it will be almost universal condemnation (info info). Even the Catholic Church will join in... again.

A massive Israeli response into Gaza will certainly provoke more of the same. Political pressure in the United States might even, regretably, cause us to join that condemnation. The result? Israel vs. the World. Do they, in fact, have nukes?

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Update: Comment pointed me to this further evidence that Hamas has more on their agenda. UN claims ignorance! (scroll down, second to last paragraph)
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Update II: Gloria from Apropos of Nothing lays out her thoughts on the results of the Gaza pullout. She offers an opposing pair of scenarios, then chooses the middle road. Read the whole thing.

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