December 03, 2006

Ceasefire not worth the paper it's not written on

Here's Gideon Levy in Ha'aretz on how Israel is going to break the ceasefire.
Here is the forecast: In a few days, there will be a targeted killing operation. The military correspondents will recite: "He was one of the senior operatives of Hamas (or Islamic Jihad), and was responsible for producing and smuggling large amounts of armaments." In response, a barrage of Qassams will fall on Sderot. One of the residents might be injured. In the process of the targeted killing operation, some passersby might also be killed; the correspondents will then recite: "They were armed."

Several days later, there might be a terror attack. The leaders of the right-wing parties and the Labor Party will be interviewed on television and will recite: "Abu Mazen has once again demonstrated that he is incapable and unwilling to fight terror. There is no one to talk to." Public Security Minister Avi Dichter will propose turning Beit Hanun into a ghost town. Eli Yishai will suggest bombing from the air. The next day, Qassams will fall again, and the IDF will enter the northern Gaza Strip. The cease-fire will go up in flames.

This is not a bold wager. This is almost the exact series of events that occurred in previous cease-fires. What was is what will be. There are plenty of examples. In January 2002, after several months of quiet, the Tanzim activist Raed Karmi was assassinated in Tul Karm. Dichter, who was then the head of the Shin Bet, pushed for this action, of course. Immediately afterwards, Fatah began its suicide bombing attacks.
I suppose it would be bad taste to take bets on this scenario turning out to be the case. And given the odds it wouldn't be worth anyone's while to bet anyway.

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