Israel General Amos Yadin of Military Intelligence claimed al-Qaeda operatives most probably entered Gaza during the recent breakdown of conditions bordering on Egypt which resulted in thousands of Gazans being able to cross over into Egypt. Yadin told members of the Knesset that during the breach, Hamas was able “to bring back those who had left for training in Syria and Iran, including snipers, explosive experts, rocket experts and engineers.” He believes “copious amounts of weaponry had also been smuggled in.” Some Knesset MPs believe that Hamas is undergoing a militay remake much like Hizbuallah did in Lebanon and the result will be massive construction of bunkers and military equipment to confront any Israel invasion. They warned that Gaza might have to be held not for a few days but for months.
Yesterday, the Qatar government offered to serve as mediators with Hamas in order to resolve the situation. It believes the initial step is to cease pretending Hamas does not exist and to enter into negotiations that might result in long term peace. The Israel-Bush approach of ignoring the reality of Hamas has failed. In order to head off further explosive situations it is time to negotiate and after conclusion of such talks to create an international Muslim military force that will ensure peace in Gaza.