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Israel-Gaza latest: Huge explosion as Israel ‘bombs Hamas leader’s house’; ‘evacuate’ leaflets dropped in southern Gaza




“You break it, you own it,” US secretary of state Colin Powell warned President Bush about Iraq, quoting signs in department stores meant for customers.…CONTINUE READING

The same principle applies to Israel with northern Gaza.

Sporadic fighting goes on, but it effectively controls the top third of the strip -an area it has comprehensively broken as a place to live.

Israel faces a dilemma over what it does next.

It could call it quits and give up what it’s broken.


There’s talk of pulling out, leaving Arab neighbours and the West to put Gaza back together.

But that could leave the field clear for Hamas to return, as it has every time in the past.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised this time to destroy it for good. His political survival depends on it.

It could double down.


Hamas forces still prevail in two thirds of the Gaza Strip. If Israel is serious about eradicating its threat, it will need to go after them.

But really? In an area already one of the most densely populated on Earth that’s now been swelled by another million? It seems inconceivable, even if the mission remains Israel’s stated war aim.

Or there’s a half way house. Staying in, but only in the north and not pressing south.

Mr Netanyahu insists Israel will keep control of security in Gaza, which implies a lasting presence on the ground of some sort.


That will suit his far-right partners in government just fine because it destroys even further the chances of a viable Palestinian state, something they vehemently oppose.

But, in Washington, the Biden administration is warning against anything approaching reoccupation because it jeopardises the only hope for peace in the region – that ever elusive two-state solution.

Potential donor countries whose support could rebuild Gaza want the same. They will demand signs of progress towards peace before pouring in the billions needed to rebuild broken Gaza.

A divided, destroyed Gaza still under Israeli occupation may satisfy Mr Netanyahu’s far-right partners in government for their own ideological reasons. But the Biden administration will not tolerate that outcome for long.


Israel relies on America for military aid and diplomatic support, and cannot afford to alienate its patrons indefinitely. Mr Netanyahu relies on his far-right partners to stay in power.

Patrons and partners. Israel’s leader cannot please both and will need to choose between them sometime soon.

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