Friday, January 9, 2009

UNSCR 1860 and Abbas: clearly irrelevant

It is only proper that UNSCR 1860 and Mahmoud Abbas would vanish into nothingness on the same day: UNSCR 1860 was rejected by both Israel and Hamas, and Abbas' term as President of the Palestinan Authority expired today.

This is all good news, really. Now that these irrelevancies have been set aside the clock will be ticking louder and louder for the Israeli war on Gaza and each passing day with strengthen Hamas.

On the ground the situation is still way to early to call, but the fact that Hamas stood its ground for two weeks is, I think, rather encouraging.

The Israeli Air Force and Navy has run out of meaningful targets a long while ago already so its sole purpose will now be to terrorize Palestinian civilians as much as can be, hence the repeated attacks on UN positions. The Israeli ground forces have done the easy job exactly as predicted: the Gaza Strip has been cut into several sections. While the Israelis present that as a meaningful goal, all this really achieves is lengthening the frontlines inside Gaza. So far, the Israelis have clearly been unable to enter, much less so take control, of any urban center.

I would say that Hamas fighters have, so far, done better than I would have expected and this is also an ecouraging sign.

Bottom line: the Israelis have run out of political options now and they will now have to do what they clearly were hoping to avoid: get down to the ugly business of trying to fight the Palestinian resistance.