As far as the first week of the Israeli Gaza operation, it has not achieved its basic declared goal among the various vague and unclear goals of this operation. This basic goal, which is not achieved yet, is to stop Hamas from firing rockets against Israel. In addition, at the humanitarian level, the death toll is approaching 500 among more than 2800 casualties. In the death toll, there are many civilians according to the U.N. while the number of those is disputed. In general, the strip is approaching a humanitarian disaster at best, as it lacks life necessities including the essential food and health care resources.
As regards Hamas, yesterday, its leader made a speech from his headquarters in Damascus in which he announced that Hamas lost a very little through this operation, especially in terms of its weapons and rockets stock. He also went defiant and confident of victory while he was threatening Israel and pledging to keep firing rockets and to refuse the Israeli and international conditions whatsoever, over the dead bodies of Palestinians in Gaza of course.
I previously suggested that given the operation’s results so far, there should be a revision of the course of this operation with a key role to politics that without this indispensable role, starting from now, this military operation is doomed to failure, as the consequent current situation in Gaza strip could not be acceptable to continue to a longer time, especially in humanitarian terms. Therefore, dealing with Gaza question should start depending more on politics rather than military operations and strikes, which should be assisting for the primary political domain. It is worthy of consideration, in this regard, that Hamas actually does not care if the entire Gaza strip was destructed, as formally announced by its leader in Gaza at the beginning of the operation.
Hence, the Gaza operation should get attached to a clear political horizon. In this regard, Israel should define its objectives of this operation in political terms, abandoning the political ambiguity, which characterized this operation and its goals from its beginnings. The needed political horizon should be conceived internationally and negotiated with the relevant parties, with an important role to the leading Arab moderate countries, and an essential role to the legitimate Palestinian National Authority.
In my view, this political horizon should include a permanent ceasefire in Gaza along with full restoration of normal conditions there, under the authority of the Palestinian government. As the complete range of this political basis for a durable settlement of this question might not be achievable, the international parties should pressure to achieve as far as possible of these terms.
Whiteout an essential and leading political horizon, the military operation would be just a destructive action. Eventually, such operation would result in nothing but destruction and ruining, and would be just in vain in political terms.