18 January 2009

The day after

The big guns seem to be quieting down, and now we could all return to same old, same old.

Hamas will declare its victory:

Turning his attention to Israeli attacks in Gaza, Hamadan added: "Hamas was not hurt…Hamas and the Palestinian organizations continue to rule Gaza. The victims of this war will be the basis for the continuation of the fighting and hostility vis-à-vis the Israeli side."
and threaten to continue fighting:
Hamas said on Saturday it would continue fighting in Gaza as long as Israeli troops remained in the Hamas-ruled Strip. "If the Israeli military continues its existence in the Gaza Strip, that is a wide door for the resistance against the occupation forces," Hamas representative in Lebanon Osama Hamada told al-Jazeera television.
How ridiculous is the bragging and how empty the threats are - remains to be seen.

Olmert will declare his victory:
On Saturday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared Operation Cast Lead a victory and threw the ball into Hamas's court, declaring the unilateral cease-fire that suspends the three-week operation, the future of which depends on whether Hamas continues to fire on Israel.
and threaten Hamas with dire consequences if they do what they promise.
According to what was decided Saturday night, Israel will stop its offensive, but will keep the IDF forces in place, see how Hamas responds and whether an effective mechanism will be set up on the border to stop smuggling.
Likud will open a campaign based on Cast Lead failure to reach the objective of destroying Hamas (that Likud would have been stopped more or less at the same point of fighting is immaterial in politics):
The Likud called on the government to continue with Operation Cast Lead until its goals were met, including an "effective closure of the corridor used to smuggle rockets into Gaza. Halting the operation under the current conditions means a second edition of the truce with Hamas. The Likud supports continuing the operation." MK Yisrael Katz (Likud) said the government had failed in Gaza.
Lesser politicos will issue statements of more extreme character:
Knesset Member Talab El-Sana (United Arab List-Ta'al) said Israel's decision on a unilateral truce in Gaza was a "publicity stunt mean to reduce international pressure."
Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman said, "Past experience shows us that ceasefires become deathtraps. The nation is lending its support, the residents of the south are standing firm, and only the government is preventing the IDF from finishing the job.
People of Gaza will wake up to see the scenes of destruction and chaos - only to find themselves forced by Hamas gunmen to praise the "victors".

And people of Israel will continue to watch out for the familiar wail of the siren and count the familiar 15 seconds:
Palestinian gunmen fired six rockets and three mortar shells into Israel on Sunday morning. One of the rockets hit the Sderot area, another rocket hit a henhouse in a kibbutz and a third one landed near another kibbutz.
And the last, but not the least:
The Israeli government declared a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza without making significant progress in the efforts to release Gilad Shalit. The campaign representing the kidnapped soldier's family said Saturday night that "there is a lot of concern in light of the prime minister's statement that he is still committed to do everything to bring Gilad back home."
Does it all look bleak? Because it is. I've promised (see under "Predictions").

So, in short - back to business as usual:

Nothing more to see here, folks - move on...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.