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Disarming Hamas is essential

Disarming Hamas is essential
Disarming Hamas is essential

If the end state desired by Gaza citizens is peaceful coexistence and a good life, aligning with Hamas terrorists isn’t the way forward. We are beginning to get a glimpse that reasonable citizens are not satisfied by Hamas actions that have once again brought war to the strained community. As for Israel, who can blame them for wanting to eradicate Hamas?

Disarming Hamas can be accomplished by Israel invading Gaza to seek and destroy them. Or, it Israel could get some help from international peacekeepers to enter Gaza for the purpose of locating weapons caches and supervising their destruction as was done with chemical weapons in Syria.

There are some big differences. In Syria, the chemical weapons were owned and controlled by the sitting government. In Gaza, the weapons are owned and controlled by a terrorist organization that is sanctioned by the local government. That makes it much more complicated.

Further complicating the situation is outside influence from arms providers such as Iran.

The important thing is to create a dialogue with a voice from peace-minded Gaza people. As published earlier in an article linked below, Israel needs to take charge of the entire situation and eliminate Hamas once and for all. Ridding the sources of weapons in the territory is essential.

Stopping short of eliminating the problem completely never works. Leaving Hamas and the like to fester produces the same results as we see with ISIS and al Qaeda.

The diplomatic genius in this would be to bring Gaza citizens together with a better life made possible by a collaborative and cooperative Israel. Take away the Muslim-Jew and jihad dimension to focus on peaceful coexistence.

That is where many expected to apply his intellect. That hasn’t happened. Maybe it is where John Kerry and Joe Biden can apply theirs. Needed to is an ounce of maturity from Congress that goes beyond warhawks.

Others have similar ideas. See this report from Michael Oren at CNN. The baseball metaphor doesn't fit, but the ideas are good ones.

“A smart way out of the Gaza confrontation

By Michael Oren
updated 12:59 PM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014

Editor's note: Michael B. Oren is the Abba Eban chair in international diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, and an ambassador-in-residence at the Atlantic Council. He was formerly Israel's ambassador to the United States. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) -- Great baseball players know every pitch is an opportunity. As with fastballs, international crises also present opportunities. And the current clash between Israel and Gaza offers several potential game-changers.

Over the course of the past six days, Hamas gunmen, along with other militant groups, have fired nearly 800 rockets at Israeli cities and towns. The Israeli air force, in response, has conducted some 1,200 sorties against Hamas targets and -- despite warning civilians of impending attacks -- inflicted civilian casualties.

Now, the Israeli army is poised to enter Gaza and uproot Hamas by force. Destruction is expected to be at least as extensive as in the previous rounds of fighting between Hamas and Israel. Thousands are liable to be displaced; civilian casualties will mount. Still, with nearly its entire population under rocket fire, Israel will have no choice but to invade.

The obvious solution is a cease-fire similar to ones mediated by Egypt in 2008 and 2012 and co-sponsored by the United States. Such a cease-fire would end the shooting but would not hold for long. An unconditional cease-fire would enable Hamas to rearm and reignite the conflict at a time of its choosing.

Egypt, moreover, is now focused on its domestic challenges and reluctant to become embroiled in regional conflicts. And American foreign policy has been weakened by its failure in the peace process and its resistance to intervening in the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars.

What's the endgame?

Worsening matters, the Egyptian government of Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has had a strained relationship with the U.S. government that frowned on his undemocratic rise to power. In baseball terms, the crisis in Gaza seems to be a fastball too blistering to hit.

Yet, the very threat of full-scale fighting can serve to motivate the combatants to seek a way out. Promised a new beginning in their relations with Washington, the Egyptians can be induced to once again mediate between Hamas and Israel. And America can reclaim its traditional leadership. A simultaneous cease-fire can be achieved, but that would only be the first in a multistaged diplomatic process.”

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