New York, Jan 4 (ANI): Israeli tanks and troops crossed over to the Gaza strip on Saturday, killing nearly 30 Hamas militants in fierce attempt to end rocket attacks, but question remains: Will the rockets really be stopped while Hamas remains in power in Gaza?
"If the war ends in a draw, as expected, and Israel refrains from re-occupying Gaza, Hamas will gain diplomatic recognition," wrote Aluf Benn, a political analyst with newspaper Haaretz. "No matter what you call it," he added, "Hamas will obtain legitimacy."
In addition, any potential truce deal would probably include an increase in commercial traffic from Israel and Egypt into Gaza, which is Hamas's central demand: To end the economic boycott and border closing it has been facing, the New York Times reported.
It may sound decisive to speak of taking Hamas out of power, almost no one familiar with Gaza and Palestinian politics considers it realistic, the paper said.
Hamas legislators won a democratic majority in elections four years ago, and the group has 15,000 to 20,000 men under arms. It has consolidated its rule in the past 18 months since pushing out its rival moderate Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas, who sits in Ramallah in the West Bank.
And while there are plenty of Gazans who would prefer Fatah, they seem hardly organized or strong enough to become the new rulers, even with the help of former colleagues in exile in Ramallah who say, anyway, that they would never be willing to ride into Gaza on the back of an Israeli tank.
In fact, the longer Israel pounds Gaza, the weaker Fatah is likely to become because it will be seen as collaborating, the NYT reported.
The likelier result of a destruction of the Hamas infrastructure, then, would be chaos, anathema not only to the people of Gaza, but also to those hoping for peace in southern Israel.
Yet in its campaign so far, which has killed scores of children and other bystanders, Israel has not spared the trappings of Hamas sovereignty or limited itself to military targets.
It says that the mosques it has destroyed were weapons storehouses and that the Islamic University, which it has hit repeatedly, housed explosives factories. But it has also reduced many government buildings to rubble without any claim that they were military in nature. (ANI)