24 May 2019   Contradictory moves to rescue Palestinian economy - By: Daoud Kuttab

23 May 2019   Trump Must Never Listen To The Warmonger Bolton - By: Alon Ben-Meir

23 May 2019   Palestine needs freedom, not prosperity - By: Daoud Kuttab




9 May 2019   Why ceasefires fail - By: Daoud Kuttab




2 May 2019   Risk Of Israeli-Iranian War Still Looms High - By: Alon Ben-Meir
















5 أيلول 2015   "من الأزل".. آخر كتب الراحل جونتر جراس - بقلم: المركز الألماني للإعلام (ألمانيا إنفو/ almania info)

18 November 2018

Netanyahu’s ceasefire is meant to keep Gaza imprisoned

By: Jonathan Cook
print     send by email

Palestinians in Gaza should have been able to breathe a sigh of relief last week, as precarious ceasefire talks survived a two-day-long, heavy exchange of strikes that threatened to unleash yet another large-scale military assault by Israel.

Late on Tuesday, after the most intense bout of violence in four years, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas, the Islamic movement that rules Gaza, approved a long-term truce brokered by Egypt.

Both are keen to avoid triggering an explosion of popular anger in Gaza, the consequences of which would be difficult to predict or contain.

The tiny enclave is on life support, having endured three devastating and sustained attacks by Israel, as well as a suffocating blockade, over the past decade. Thousands of homes are in ruins, the water supply is nearly undrinkable, electricity in short supply, and unemployment sky-high.

But as is so often the case, the enclave’s immediate fate rests in the hands of Israeli politicians desperate to cast themselves as Israel’s warmonger-in-chief and thereby reap an electoral dividend.

Elections now loom large after Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s hawkish defence minister, resigned on Wednesday in the wake of the clashes. He accused Netanyahu of “capitulating to terror” in agreeing to the ceasefire.

Lieberman takes with him a handful of legislators, leaving the governing coalition with a razor-thin majority of one parliamentary seat. Rumours were rife over the weekend that another party, the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home, was on the brink of quitting the coalition.

In fact, Netanyahu recklessly triggered these events. He had smoothed the path to a truce earlier this month by easing the blockade. Fuel had been allowed into the enclave, as had $15 million in cash from Qatar to cover salaries owed to Gaza’s public-sector workers.

At this critical moment, Netanyahu agreed to a covert incursion by the Israeli army, deep into Gaza. When the soldiers were exposed, the ensuing firefight left seven Palestinians and an Israeli commander dead.

The two sides then upped the stakes: Hamas launched hundreds of rockets into Israel, while the Israeli military bombarded the enclave. The air strikes killed more than a dozen Palestinians.

Lieberman had reportedly expressed outrage over the transfer of Qatari money to Gaza, claiming it would be impossible to track how it was spent. The ceasefire proved the final straw.

Hamas leaders boasted that they had created a “political earthquake” with Lieberman’s resignation. But the shockwaves may not be so easily confined to Israel.

Strangely, Netanyahu now sounds like the most moderate voice in his cabinet. Fellow politicians are demanding Israel “restore its deterrence” – a euphemism for again laying waste to Gaza.

Naftali Bennett, the head of the settler Jewish Home party, denounced the ceasefire as “unacceptable” and demanded the vacant defence post.

There was flak, too, from Israel’s so-called left. The opposition Labour party leader Avi Gabbay called Netanyahu “weak”, while former prime minister Ehud Barak said he had “surrendered to Hamas under fire”.

Similar sentiments are shared by the public. Polls indicate 74 per cent of Israelis favour a tougher approach.

Sderot, close to Gaza and targeted by rockets, erupted into angry protests. Placards bearing the slogan “Bibi Go Home” – using Netanyahu’s nickname – were evident for the first time in his party’s heartland.

With this kind of goading, an election in the offing, and corruption indictments hanging over his head, Netanyahu may find it difficult to resist raising the temperature in Gaza once again.

But he also has strong incentives to calm things down and shore up Hamas’s rule.

The suggestion by some commentators that Netanyahu has turned a new leaf as a “man of peace” could not be more misguided. What distinguishes Netanyahu from his cabinet is not his moderation, but that he has a cooler head than his far-right rivals.

He believes there are better ways than lashing out to achieve his core political aim: the undermining of the Palestinian national project. This was what he meant on Wednesday when he attacked critics for missing “the overall picture of Israel’s security”.

On a practical level, Netanyahu has listened to his generals, who warn that, if Israel provokes war with Hamas, it may find itself ill-equipped to cope with the fallout on two other fronts, in Lebanon and Syria.

But Netanyahu has still deeper concerns. As veteran Israeli military analyst Ben Caspit observed: “The only thing more dangerous to Netanyahu than getting tangled up in war is getting tangled up in peace.”

The Israeli army has responded to months of largely non-violent mass protests at Gaza’s perimeter fence by killing more than 170 Palestinian demonstrators and maiming thousands more.

The protests could turn into an uprising. Palestinians storming the fence that imprisons them is an eventuality the Israeli army is entirely unprepared for. Its only response would be to slaughter Palestinians en masse, or reoccupy Gaza directly.

Netanyahu would rather bolster Hamas, so it can keep a lid on the protests than face an international backlash and demands that he negotiate with the Palestinians.

Further, a ceasefire that keeps Hamas in power in Gaza also ensures that Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank, can be kept out.

That was in part why Netanyahu, against his normal instincts, allowed the transfer of the Qatari money, which had been opposed by the Palestinian Authority. It is not just a fillip for Hamas, it is a slap in the face to Abbas.

A disunited Palestine, divided territorially and ideologically, is in no position to exert pressure on Netanyahu – either through Europe or the United Nations – to begin peace talks or concede Palestinian statehood.

That is all the more pressing, given that the White House insists that President Trump’s long-delayed peace plan will be unveiled within the next two months.

Leaks suggest that the US may propose a separate “entity” in Gaza under Egyptian supervision and financed by Qatar. The ceasefire should be seen as a first step towards creating a pseudo-Palestinian state in Gaza along these lines.

Palestinians there are now caught between a rock and a hard place. Between vengeful hotheads such as Lieberman, who want more carnage in Gaza, and Netanyahu, who prefers to keep the Palestinians quiet and largely forgotten in their tiny prison.

* Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest book, released this month, is “Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net. - mail@jkcook.net



Name
Email
Comment
Security Code

26 أيار 2019   "ندوة المنامة" بين الممانعة والمشاركة..! - بقلم: زياد أبو زياد

26 أيار 2019   مأزق الاعتدال الفلسطيني..! - بقلم: ناجح شاهين

26 أيار 2019   "قانون الحصانة" عرى نتنياهو - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول


26 أيار 2019   مشهد موجع من المسجد الاقصى..! - بقلم: خالد معالي


25 أيار 2019   أمير مخول.. أسير محرر ام أسير سابق؟ - بقلم: جواد بولس

25 أيار 2019   "حربة" التطبيع..! - بقلم: محمد السهلي

25 أيار 2019   العثور على الذات ... اغتيال الدونية (4) - بقلم: عدنان الصباح

25 أيار 2019   فلسطينيو 48 كرأس جسر للتطبيع مع إسرائيل..! - بقلم: سليمان ابو ارشيد

25 أيار 2019   سراب السلام الأمريكي من مدريد إلى المنامة..! - بقلم: د. إبراهيم أبراش

24 أيار 2019   من يتحكم بالآخر: الغرب أم الصهيونية؟ - بقلم: د. سلمان محمد سلمان

24 أيار 2019   الفلسطينيون و"مؤتمر المنامة"..! - بقلم: د.ناجي صادق شراب

24 أيار 2019   الرئيس يستطيع اعادة الاعتبار لنفسه والقضية - بقلم: مصطفى إبراهيم

24 أيار 2019   "صفقة القرن".. والذاكرة العربية المعطوبة..! - بقلم: جهاد سليمان








8 حزيران 2018   ..هكذا خسر قطاع غزة أكثر من 40% من مساحته..! - بقلم: وسام زغبر





27 اّذار 2011   عداد الدفع المسبق خال من المشاعر الإنسانية..!! - بقلم: محمد أبو علان

13 شباط 2011   سقط مبارك فعادت لنا الحياة - بقلم: خالد الشرقاوي

4 شباط 2011   لا مستحيل..!! - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي



10 أيار 2019   الشقي.. وزير إعلام الحرب..! - بقلم: د. أحمد جميل عزم

9 أيار 2019   ترجلت "بهية" عن المسرح..! - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول

20 نيسان 2019   حول قصيدة النثر..! - بقلم: حسن العاصي

16 اّذار 2019   فَتحِ الدّفتَر..! أغنية - بقلم: نصير أحمد الريماوي


8 كانون ثاني 2011   "صحافة المواطن" نافذة للأشخاص ذوي الاعاقة - بقلم: صدقي موسى

10 تشرين ثاني 2010   رساله .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

3 تشرين ثاني 2010   شخبطة صحفية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي

27 تشرين أول 2010   المدلل .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

21 تشرين أول 2010   فضفضة مواطنية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي


4 اّذار 2012   الطقش


26 كانون ثاني 2012   امرأة في الجفتلك



 
 
 
top

English | الصفحة الرئيسية | كاريكاتير | صحف ومجلات | أخبار وتقارير | اّراء حرة | الإرشيف | صوتيات | صحفيون وكتاب | راسلنا

جميع الحقوق محفوظة © لشبكة  أمين الأعلامية 2019- 1996 
تصميم وتطوير شبكة أمين الأعلامية