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Regional integration only way for Israel to achieve security

Israel needs to see the long-term security benefits of integrating with the region, which can only come with a comprehensive and just settlement to the Palestinian conflict.
Israeli soldiers stand on an armoured personnel carrier (APC) outside the central Gaza Strip as they fire mortar shell towards Gaza before a ceasefire was due, early August 1, 2014. Israeli shelling near the southern Gaza town of Rafah killed at least 40 people on Friday, the local hospital said, as a ceasefire that went into effect only hours earlier crumbled. Israel accused Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups of violating the U.S.- and U.N.-mediated truce, but did not elaborate, amid Israeli media

The latest crisis in the Arab-Israeli conflict has brought more death, devastation and desolation — levels that look like they may soon exceed any other violence against Palestinians over the past decade. At some point, there will be a cease-fire, but the conditions for the crisis will remain. Israel may claim victory, but the wider context for Israel remains bleak in the long run. This may not be a popular opinion among Israelis, but the only realistic way for Israelis to thrive in the long term is for them to be integrated into the wider region, beginning with a comprehensive and just peace settlement.

The Gaza conflict has thus far resulted in around 1,400 dead and 8,000 wounded Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli military. About three-quarters are civilians, according to the United Nations, and many are children. Fifty-six Israeli soldiers, and three civilians in Israel, have also been killed by Hamas militants to date, according to the Israeli military. The Gaza Strip, occupied by Israel since 1967, was already under siege prior to this latest round of violence, with rapidly deteriorating living conditions, according to the UN. These already dire circumstances for 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza have deteriorated tremendously as a result of the current war. Israeli security is unlikely to be aided by this state of affairs — on the contrary, these policies only increase the likelihood that a new generation of Palestinians in Gaza will make Israel’s insecurity their priority.

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