Just like in Lebanon, Israel cannot win in Gaza for a single reason: the government did not specify a political objective. Rabin headed for Oslo negotiations with the idea of closing Gaza off and leaving the Palestinians to kill there each other off and starve for the lack of economic opportunities. That was a dubious but rational objective. Subsequently, it was replaced with peace process. Anyone is yet to explain why does Israel, with her relatively good economy and strong army need peace with some Palestinian Arabs worthless in economic and military terms. Why, in particular, should Israel who won all wars against Arab aggressors, now capitulate to Arabs and withdraw, compensate the refugees, and divide Jerusalem with Palestinians? Peace process requires a peace partner, even if there is none. International community of spiders in a can suitably appointed Fatah. Never mind that Fatah, rendered leaderless by Arafat, cannot prevail against highly motivated Hamas.

The IDF’s proper response critically depends on what does Israel want. Punishing the Palestinians for the attitudes of Canaan’s residents toward Joshua bin Nun? Then blockade Gaza, cut off water and power supply, and let the Arabs enjoy independence. Ending the flow of suicide bombers? Ban Arab migrants from Israel. Ending the rocket barrages? Keep invading Gaza once in a while, destroy Hamas caches of explosives, training camps, buildings, and Kassam workshops; raze and withdraw. Signing peace with Palestine? As an occupying force, ban Hamas from elections, render a Fatah-only Palestinian parliament, have it sign a peace treaty and enjoy the worthless paper. Want durable peace with Arabs? Go settle in Uganda.