While the early talk from both sides in the wake of the Gaza ceasefire was of renewed hostilities, yesterday both Hamas and the Israeli government showed openness to reconciliation. Sadly, what seemed like it might have been a false start to a war appears to have turned into a false start for peace, as a flurry of rocket strikes from the Gaza Strip brings the two sides back to the brink of war.
Now, the Israeli cabinet has also approved a “substantial and painful” military operation in the Gaza Strip, which the military suggests is only delayed by weather too inclement for war. Much of the Hamas government in the Strip has gone into hiding, leaving the civilian populace likely to take the brunt of the retaliatory strike. Hamas insists the attacks on Israel are intended to “fulfill its obligation to defend the Palestinian people.”
Though he wouldn’t confirm the strategy for the upcoming attacks, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says “I’m in favor of threatening less and doing more, adding “we will finish this.” Both sides insist the other bears full responsibility for the situation, but in the end it is the civilians on either side of the Gaza-Israel border that will bear the burden of a new war.