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Israel’s Hamas dilemma

Israel blames Hamas for the suffering faced by Gaza's residents yet ignores its own contribution to the suffering caused by years of closure.
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“I call on all world nations, to all who are able and have the influence, to pressure those ruling Gaza, to pressure Hamas, to accept responsibility for their actions and the lives of their people.” President Reuven Rivlin issued this appeal Jan. 21 while touring Israeli communities bordering Gaza with Deputy Chief of the General Staff Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi. The president’s call reflects a new assessment by Israeli security analysts that the Gaza Strip is nearing economic collapse. It is also an expression of the bind Israel is in, having imposed a closure on Gaza more than a decade ago and standing by helplessly in the face of its dangerous repercussions.

Senior Israeli defense officials expressed grave concern Jan. 15 that unemployment of around 50% among young Palestinians, along with the dead end in reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah, would result in an explosion with security, environmental and health implications for Israel.

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