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article imageOp-Ed: Israel ponders options amid shaky cease-fire

By Larry Clifton     Nov 21, 2012 in Politics
Tel Aviv - Hours after a terrorist bomb left its hateful scorch on Bus #142 in Tel Aviv Wednesday, a shaky cease-fire agreement aimed at halting a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip was announced by Egypt.
About 140 Palestinians and three Israeli civilians lost their lives in the current conflict. Hamas installs its missile-launchers around schools and inside factories as a shield against Israeli counter attacks, which often leads to the death of children and non-combatants, according to a report.
The reaction from Hamas in Gaza was equally telling as Arab men spilled into the streets firing their automatic weapons into the air in celebration as news of the attack spread. Making matters worse for Israel, Hamas often targets civilians in that country with its missiles and homicide bombs.
Israel ponders limited options amid shaky cease-fire
"We consider it a natural response to the occupation crimes and the ongoing massacres against civilians in the Gaza Strip," a spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, told the Associated Press.
In Israel, the attack on civilian targets that have no military values reminded the Israeli population of past bombings of buses, cafes and other public places by Palestinians and their handlers.
The bomb exploded around noon Wednesday and sent 15 people to the hospital, some with serious injuries, while leaving many more traumatized. Police have confirmed that it was a terrorist attack.
Israelis are between a rock and a hard place to say the least. It’s no secret that U.S. President Barack Obama stands with Israel, sort of, but far enough away that the dust of war won’t settle on his newly elected suit. He did send outbound Hillary Clinton to meet with Israel after she checked in with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, but the bus bombing and another slew of Hamas rockets will send Ms. Clinton home with short notice.
Meanwhile, for the record, the White House released a statement saying the attacks "against innocent Israeli civilians are outrageous … The United States reaffirms our unshakeable commitment to Israel's security and our deep friendship and solidarity with the Israeli people."
While the White House response sounds more like a union speech, at least most Americans aren’t openly celebrating the attacks on Israeli citizens, even if mainstream American media has embedded itself in the Palestinian cause.
However, regardless of mainstream media’s alliances, Israel must decide on three options.
The Jewish state that Holocaust victims and others established in 1946 can continue on as a missile testing range for Hamas and Iran, but Israelis must consider that Iran is almost ready to bring nukes on line and probably a missile or two available capable of escorting one to Tel Aviv.
The second option would be for Israel to begin seriously dismantling its borders, trading precious land along its tiny borders for a promise of peace. This option puts Israel in the precarious position of living under an assumed pledge of peace made by Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and does nothing to deter the Iranians, who, aside from being committed to the destruction of Israel and going nuclear, are believed to be the manufacturer of rockets and other high-explosive devices being used against Israel today.
The third option is for Israel to defend herself vigorously against hostile Palestinian terrorist organizations that use Palestinian babies as human shields in exchange for “good press” from Western and Middle East media. This option comes with little or no support from the White House and no guarantee of a 1967-type outcome.
At some point, the current hastily arranged cease-fire notwithstanding, Israel will likely be forced to take the third option since Iran will continue building nukes and waging war against Israel through the Palestinian Authority and Hamas regardless of cease-fires. The only question is whether Israel will pull the trigger sooner, or wait for a nuclear Iran to do it later.
Meanwhile, a nervous region looked on Wednesday as Hamas fired its celebratory weapons into the air at home, and inside Israel.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Israel, Hamas, hamas terrorism, middle east conflict, iran nuclear weapon
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