By Ted Belman
CALEV BEN-DOR, JPOST, writes Hamas victory could be an opportunity for Israel
While no one would celebrate the official presence of a Hamastan a few kilometers from Sderot, the new situation would nevertheless provide opportunities. The de facto division between Gaza and the West Bank would allow Israel to maintain its boycott of Hamas in Gaza while utilizing the emergence of a political partner in the West Bank for the first time in many years.
While I agree with him that it is an opportunity, I disagree with how he proposes Israel take advantage of it.
Previously in my post Cut a deal with the US before invading Gaza I referred to an article by Giora Eiland in which her argued that Gaza should be treated as a separate political entity. Doing so is no longer problematic.
To my mind Israel is now in a position to deal with Judea and Samaria separately from Gaza. I have long championed annexing Judea and Samaria and recognized that splitting these territories from Gaza would meet with much international opposition. No longer.
On the pretext of preventing a Hamas/Fatah war in J & S, Israel should replace the PA or Fatah as the governing authority. Then Israel law should be extended to the entire area. The West is in such disarray now that a bold action by Israel would not meet the resistance it might otherwise have. With the growing influence of Iran, Israel is the only card left to play in the West’s deck.
Finally, Palestinians are begging for the return of Israeli civil administration to the Westbank to replace the PA.
Go for it.