Hamas was forced to accept Egyptian and Israeli dictates.
Hamas crawled to the cease-fire. One should not be impressed by the well-organized victory festivities in Gaza. Most of Hamas’s demands and preconditions were rejected from the outset.
The cease-fire is unlimited in time and Hamas was not promised anything except that which had been offered at the start of the military campaign.
Full of itself and arrogant, it miscalculated. If Hamas had not rejected the offers, Israel would not have launched a ground incursion. Hamas’s 32 attacking tunnels would not have been destroyed. Its rockets and mortar shells wouldn’t be reduced to a residual arsenal of 20 percent – from 10,000 to approximately 2,000.
And most importantly, parts of Gaza wouldn’t have been destroyed.
Unfortunately, Gaza has been set back decades. More than 5,000 houses were destroyed. Thousands were damaged and on the verge of collapse. Gaza has been suffering water and electricity shortages.
Three hundred thousand residents – 15% of its population – turned into homeless refugees within the boundaries of the small enclave, which was already mostly one big refugee camp.
Surely people will not go to protest in the streets. Hamas has established a reign of fear and terror. The massive public executions during the war, and in particular last week, of alleged traitors were not aimed at unveiling and disrupting Israeli intelligence operations, rather to send a clear message to the Gazans: We are Hamas and we are here to stay. Don’t dare revolt against us.
But the locals have a long memory. They will remember who brought them the calamity.
In a sense, the Gaza war is reminiscent of what happened during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Hezbollah was defeated. Its secretary-general admitted it in public. But then he heard Israeli defense commentators who criticized the war’s conduct by then prime minister Ehud Olmert’s government and regained his self-confidence. Hassan Nasrallah told himself that if stupid Israel thought that it was defeated, so let it – and declared his false victory.