Israel has threatened to reoccupy Gaza again. A few hours ago, they launched air, missile, and artillery strikes in retaliation for three rockets fired at the town of Sderot. Dr. Adnan Abu Amer writes about the possible scenarios involved.
This round, like its precedents, was supposed to end with mutual statements between Gaza and Tel Aviv, but the latter escalated its statements this time with unprecedented threats regarding the possibility of reoccupying the Gaza Strip in order to cleanse it of the military arsenal and missile powers it has, as was stated by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
But fears in Gaza were heightened after the pace of these threats was picked up and they were made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon and the Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defence Forces Benny Gantz.
This has touched off a new round of threats made by both parties. Warfare has become even more high-tech; for instance, Hamas sent thousands of texts to Israeli mobile phone customers and made threats against them. And the Al-Qassam Brigades released a video making threats against Israel's defense minister Moshe Ya'alon.
Gaza reacted to the threats of reoccupation quickly; the Hamas government's Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh threatened, in front of hundreds of thousands of the movement's supporters in Hamas' festival in the middle of Gaza on March 23 on the commemoration of the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, founder of the movement, that "any new attack against the Strip will cost Israel a high price, because the abilities hidden by the resistance are much more than Israel's estimation."This could all well be a tactic used by Israel to intimidate Hamas, according to the speculation being reported in the article. But if Israel does choose to occupy Hamas, it will be because of tacit support given by the Arab countries, who might see it as a means of getting Israel and the PA back to the table by getting Hamas out of the way, so the speculation goes. But the problem with that is that this will bring Israel right back to square one, with a constant threat of terrorist attacks against its troops. It would seriously escalate the conflict due to the rise of guerrilla tactics similar to Iraq. And there would be no guarantees that Hamas would be wiped out. And the PA would have a hard time coming back to the table when Israel has not met its numerous demands as a precondition for restarting the talks.
And a reoccupation would boomerang in other areas. It would accelerate the BDS movement even more even if Israel were to succeed in wiping out Hamas because their fortunes are not tied to that of Hamas. Other groups would form to fill the power vacuum left behind, and there would be no institutions worth speaking of that Gazans could turn to. It would create a state of total anarchy and chaos similar to Somalia.
It would be a state similar to Iraq. Even if Israel were to overrun Gaza easily, the hard part will just have begun. There would be explosives, IED's, suicide bombings, and there would still be rockets fired into Israel. If Israel is serious about its threat to reoccupy Gaza, it will show that it will not have learned anything from the quagmires of Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan.