Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summed up succinctly this week Israel’s dilemma vis-a-vis Hamas: War or truce? “We are working to prevent [Gaza] forces getting into Israel to harm our soldiers and communities,” Netanyahu told reporters Oct. 29. “But for there to be calm, the problem that could lead to humanitarian collapse (in Gaza) must be resolved.”
There is no certainty that either of these options will resolve the problem, but Netanyahu seems intent on exhausting all other avenues before deciding on an extensive military operation in Gaza. That same day, an Israeli political source confirmed that Israel and Hamas had been on the verge of a limited cease-fire deal, as reported earlier by Al-Monitor, but the escalation of Palestinian border protests Oct. 26 and the massive rocket fire later that night scuttled the understandings.