Saul Landau: Reason for war?

By Saul Landau, progreso-weekly.com, 22-28 January 2009
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On January 18, Israel and Hamas agreed to a weeklong cease-fire. Prime Minister Olmert declared Israel had achieved its objectives. “Hamas was hit hard, in its military arms and in its government institutions. Its leaders are in hiding and many of its men have been killed,” said Olmert.

More than 1,100 Palestinians lay dead, more than a third women and children, countless more wounded and Gaza’s physical infrastructure destroyed or badly damaged. Thirteen Israelis died. Hamas still rules Gaza — from within, but has no control of its borders — and presumably can still smuggle weapons in from Egypt.

The truce is beyond shaky as President Obama takes office with an unqualified “I support Israel” policy and a core of Israeli kiss-asses for advisers (Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk as examples).

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