Gazing into Gaza’s Future Amidst Turmoil and Challenges

Israel should immediately declare that it is ready to free all terrorist prisoners in its jails in exchange for all Israeli and non-Israeli hostages in Gaza.

6 mins read
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech regarding the coronavirus pandemic, at PA headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 5, 2020.

About The Future

The renowned Moroccan liberal intellectual Tahar ben Jelloun, idol of the left in Europe, wrote in the French media outlet Le Point: “The Palestinian cause died on October 7, 2023, murdered by fanatic elements mired in an Islamist ideology of the worst kind.” Indeed, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can no longer be resolved with the paradigms of pre-October 7. They are dead and gone. It is a new reality.

No Israeli now would agree to put his security in the hands of Arabs. The experiment of Oslo, which was built on the idea that the security forces of the Palestinian Authority – not hobbled by Israel’s Supreme Court and Israeli human rights organizations – would take care of security for Israel’s citizens, is a concept that collapsed with many tragedies over the last 30 years. Now it has been blown to bits, with the murder of over 1,400 Israelis in unspeakable brutality – men, women, children, the elderly, young girls at the music event, even Holocaust survivors – on October 7. There is no longer any hope for a peaceful arrangement with any Palestinian party. The political future of the West Bank will ultimately be as Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin described in the Israeli parliament after his two years of bitter experience with the PLO and two weeks before he was assassinated: an autonomous entity that is not a state, with security in Israel’s hands.

Additionally, very few Israelis will see any meaning in peace with the Arab world in general. Indeed, Israel can flourish without it. What was once a winning card in Israeli elections – peace with the Arabs – became a liability on October 7.

What the savage Nazi organization Hamas did is one thing. But what has been revealed across the Arab and Muslim world is another. Of the world’s 150 million Arabs, only two or three liberal Muslims came out publicly against Hamas. There are surely a few more who dare not speak lest they be murdered.

The heart of the masses is with Hamas, as we are seeing on television channels worldwide. The Arab world has never come to terms with Israel’s existence, and whenever there is war – as on October 7 – the prevailing sentiment among the people, unlike among their dictatorial rulers who signed peace agreements with Israel, supports the annihilators. Their true feelings are exploding – even in Europe and the U.S. The Arab regimes that made peace with Israel are trembling in the face of the massive anti-Israel demonstrations that are a direct threat to them.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas himself, who said in a statement that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people, had to remove that statement immediately – thereby writing himself off as “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians,” which is the status claimed by the PLO all these years.

For the foreseeable future, the only thing that will matter to Israeli voters is security on land, air and sea – for the left, the right, and the center alike. No risks will be taken.

Gaza Will Not Be Rehabilitated In The Coming 20 Years

The Palestinians have no figure like the Germans had after the Nazi era, that is, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Abbas is a political corpse. Those who think they can install him in Gaza are delusional. He will not assume control of Gaza, and if he tries, he will be assassinated by Hamas.

The Responsibility – And The Fate – Of The Qatari Regime

While Iran is responsible for Hamas’s military deployment – weapons, planning, training, and execution – Qatar is the one behind the October 7 attack. Hamas is Qatar and Qatar is Hamas, and Qatar joined in the war on Israel via Hamas. The blood of the Israeli citizens is on the hands of Qatar Emir Tamim Aal Thani and of his family – and on the hands of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who for the past decade has collaborated with Qatar in funneling $1.5 billion to Hamas to build its military forces: the massive arsenal of missiles, which are being fired at Tel Aviv every night; a 30,000-strong force of killers; and all its munitions – as well as an underground Gaza military deployment that is waiting for the Israeli army to fall into its deathtrap.

Netanyahu allowed himself to be deceived, for reasons that still need to be understood. What he said to many in the defense establishment, political circles, and media was that he was buying Hamas. He never bought Hamas; he sold our lives. Every missile, every killer, every munition, every piece of military equipment, every tunnel – is Qatar.

Qatar should pay dearly – and it will. The Aal Thani family supports all Islamist terrorist organizations – ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas. They even hid the mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in Doha, and when the FBI came to arrest him informing only the emir himself, KSM disappeared within hours.[3] In the U.S. and Europe, there are lawsuits against Qatar for terror financing. Qatar should be brought to justice. This justice may come also at the hands of Jewish individuals who have lost family members in Hamas’s murderous attack, like the post-World War II avengers against Nazis. The Aal Thani family is doomed.

Qatar has two TV channels that are serving Hamas in time of war: Al-Jazeera and Al-Araby. To the shame of Israel’s reckless and failing government, these Goebbels-like channels are broadcasting from Israel. War was declared by Hamas commander in Gaza Muhammad Deif, on these two channels on the morning of Saturday, October 7. Since then, both channels have been acting as megaphones for Hamas’s military, operational, and propaganda messages.

Israel is in a legal state of war, with emergency laws activated. Under these laws, such enemy channels could be shut down within half an hour – which means that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s deadly collaboration with Qatar is continuing even after 1,400 Israelis were killed, nearly 200 were abducted, and there is nightly missile fire on Tel Aviv that is broadcast by these channels.

Al-Jazeera’s and Al-Araby’s impact on both the ideological and operational levels is enormous. Israeli lives have been put at mortal risk due to these channels’ operational and ideological support. And yet they are still, to this very day, operating freely in Israel, to the disgrace of this reckless Israeli government.

In some Israeli circles, Netanyahu seeks to compare himself to Winston Churchill. Would Churchill have allowed Goebbels to broadcast from London during World War II?

The Fate Of Gaza And Its Population

Israel’s tragically necessary bombing to eradicate Hamas has created a human disaster that must be resolved as quickly as possible, with all humanitarian efforts. Israel must be one of the countries participating in these efforts along with the entire Western world, providing food, water, and power via a humanitarian corridor.

But Gaza as a center of life will cease to exist; it will become military terrain for Israel and its enemies, whoever they may be, for the next decade, with recurring flareups every year or two.

Anyone who dares to continue shooting from there at Israel – like the Japanese soldier who, after World War II, thought the war was still going on – will be bombed. There will also be no civilian return to Gaza until full security is guaranteed, perhaps in a decade or two. The Israeli citizens of the Gaza border area will share the same fate; there will be no return to their homes until total and absolute security is guaranteed. This whole area will be preserved as a quasi-Yad Vashem memorial.

Gaza’s southern area will become a huge refugee camp, that will exist for decades. This will be like the camps that were created in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan over 10 years ago, where refugees continue to live with the help of humanitarian organizations. Israel should allow all humanitarian support for these refugees.

In a few decades, the northern Gaza Strip will become a kind of large commemoration area, like Normandy after World War II. Several generations will pass before any temporary settlement is discussed. Needless to say, Israel will not remain in Gaza after it eradicates Hamas.

The Fate Of The Hostages

Israel should immediately declare that it is ready to free all terrorist prisoners in its jails in exchange for all Israeli and non-Israeli hostages in Gaza. This is a moral imperative that the Israeli government must undertake immediately. If Hamas considers obtaining the release of all its prisoners a victory, as Gaza is gradually leveled to the ground, so be it. This will only add to their historic crimes.

Bargaining over the fate of hostages is almost criminal. Israel must show that it is willing to give anything and everything in its hands, including releasing murderers serving life sentences, for the sake of freeing the hostages. We owe it to all their families – and we owe it no less to President Biden, who is standing with the Israeli people at a moment of truth and inspiring all European heads of state to follow his moral lead, setting aside all fleeting political considerations.

Yigal Carmon

Yigal Carmon is Founder and President of MEMRI and served as counter-terrorism advisor to Israeli prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin.

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