During the past few years, Israel and the United States have jointly pursued a policy of non-engagement with Hamas. The result of this foreign policy approach bears scant evidence of success. The Israel government is presently confronting a situation in which it could invade Gaza or whether it could risk accepting Egypt’s offer of a cease fire. Secretary of State Rice has flown to Israel in a last ditch effort to resolve the “situation on Gaza” as her spokesman so aptly put it. President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority is close to losing all faith in Israel’s willingness to engage in negotiations that might lead to creation of a two-state resolution of the Palestine issue.
Israel apparently is divided over what to do. A majority of her Cabinet is opting for an invasion while others argue the Egyptian proposal must be accepted. A potential danger is a Fatah-Hamas dialogue which results in a new coalition government, a step that might kill all chances for a negotiated peace with Israel. If that happens, will the region witness another Muslim series of demonstrations and violence?