From IRIS:
As Israelis ponder how long the cease-fire with Hamas will last, almost no one remembers this fact:

Hamas gunmen, taking advantage of an earlier cease-fire, infiltrated into Israel, killed two soldiers, and captured Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Caroline Glick is calling this Israel’s Darkest Week:

The Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government’s liquidation sale of Israel’s strategic assets opened officially this week. Iran’s proxies have pounced on the merchandise.

The first asset sold was the security of southern Israel. The Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government’s “cease-fire” with Hamas transferred all power to determine the fate of the residents of southern Israel to Iran’s Palestinian proxy.

Under the “agreement,” Hamas will refrain from attacking Sderot, Ashkelon, Netivot and surrounding kibbutzim for as long as it serves its interests. Since temporarily halting its attacks on southern Israel is the only thing that Hamas has agreed to do, it will use the lull in fighting to build up its arsenal and its military infrastructures in Gaza. When it has built up its forces sufficiently, or when its Iranian overlords give it the order, Hamas will again attack southern Israel. And when it reengages, it can be assumed that it will do so with a vastly expanded missile range. So under the guise of the “cease-fire,” Hamas will place hundreds of thousands more Israelis at its mercy.

The Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government’s agreement with Hamas does more than sell out the security of the South. The agreement also divests Israel of its former ability to isolate Hamas diplomatically. Fatah’s renewal of negotiations toward reconciling with Hamas is a direct consequence of Israel’s actions. As these talks unfold, it is clear to all concerned that they will not lead to any sort of power sharing agreement between the two parties. Hamas today holds all the power in Palestinian society. Israel’s acceptance of Hamas’s power over the safety of Israeli citizens only amplified this fact. Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas – who cannot even travel to Nablus without IDF protection – is not approaching Hamas as an equal, but as a supplicant.

Moreover, Israel’s willingness to allow Gazans to enter Israel, and its acceptance of Hamas’s control over the Rafah international terminal that separates Gaza from Egypt, constitutes de facto Israeli recognition of the Hamas regime in Gaza. And the direct consequence of Israel’s diplomatic and strategic capitulation to Hamas is that no one in either the Arab world or the West today will agree to isolate or boycott Hamas.

But the Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government apparently doesn’t care. Israel’s leaders actually don’t want anyone to isolate or boycott Hamas anymore. The government’s reported negotiations regarding the deployment of an all-Arab “peacekeeping” force in Gaza in a later phase of the “cease-fire” make clear that Israel is pushing for Hamas’s international legitimization.

After all, unlike Israel, Hamas would never allow any government that doesn’t recognize its legitimacy to deploy forces in its territory or along its borders. So any Arab force that deployed in Gaza or along Gaza’s borders would have to recognize Hamas’s regime. Beyond that, of course, Israel’s advocacy of such a force indicates that the government has no interest in ever confronting Hamas militarily and is ready to tie the hands of any future Israeli government to do so since the presence of Arab forces in Gaza will render it much more difficult for Israel to defend itself. For if such a force is deployed, any future counter-terror operation in Gaza is liable to cause casualties among foreign Arab soldiers and so risk escalating the conflict to the level of regional war.

Israel’s decision to embrace Hamas is so outrageous that even the US State Department apparently hasn’t had a chance to get its bearings. Reacting to the news on Wednesday, State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said, “Saying you’ve got a loaded gun to my head but you’re not going to fire today is far different from taking the gun down, locking it up, and saying you’re not going to use it again.” The agreement “hardly takes Hamas out of the terrorism business,” Casey added.

 

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