Hamas' reliance on Egypt as a interlocutor with Israel and the ongoing conflict in Syria are taking their toll on Tehran's sway in the region, write Jeffrey Fleishman and Ramin Mostaghim in the Los Angeles Times.
Iran's immediate concern in Gaza is keeping Hamas from strengthening its ties to Arab capitals. This may be difficult, as evidenced by the fact that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which inspired the founding of Hamas and now is in charge of the Egyptian government, played a key role in brokering the cease-fire announced Wednesday. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is likely to press the militant group not to further agitate the region — and Egypt's many domestic problems — with sustained violence against Israel.
Britain taught the IRA that politics, not bombs, was its path to victory, and Israel should do the same with Hamas, writes Richard N. Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations.
...military force has limits. Israel cannot bludgeon the Palestinians into submission. Nor should it want to reoccupy Gaza: there is no reason to believe the results would be any better this time round. Israel needs a Palestinian partner if it is ever to enjoy peace and be the secure, prosperous, democratic, Jewish state it deserves to be. But such a partner will not just emerge; Israel, as the stronger party, actually needs to help the process along.
Writing in the Huffington Post, Arsen Ostrovsky talks to British Colonel Richard Kemp about how Israel managed the Pillar of Defense operation in Gaza.
Kemp acknowledges that mistakes can, and will, be made, but says Israel is doing "everything it can to prevent civilian casualties," including taking some "extraordinary steps in a time of war," such as providing fuel, water and electricity, while also dropping leaflets and sending text messages, warning residents of impending strikes. Asked to explain why Israel has gone to such extremes, often at the risk to its own soldiers and benefiting the Hamas, Kemp says: "It's an indication of the humanitarian concerns that Israel has for the civilian population among the enemy it is fighting."
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