Israel’s security cabinet declared Gaza an “enemy entity” as Secretary of State Condi Rice flew to the Middle East for a 24 hour engagement with serious issues. Hamas responded to the Israel statement with “It is a declaration of war and continues the criminal terrorist Zionist actions against our people.” Rice in conversations with reporters on the plane carrying her to the Middle East assured them there would not be a photo-op approach to her efforts to reconcile issues between Israel and the Palestinians.
Each day rockets fly from Gaza into Israel and now the Israeli government is considering cutting off fuel and water in order to halt these attacks. Hamas is responding with brave words of defiance while the Palestinian government is demanding some concrete action in order to show all Palestinians that peace is possible. For some reason, the American Secretary of State actually believes she can do something significant in a 24 hour time period to deal with these complex issues. One wonders what has happened to Tony Blair who supposedly was working on a Middle Eastern solution. If Condi Rice only has 24 hours, then it is obvious this will be a photo-op trip.