The United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called upon Israel to declare a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza. Israel has rightfully declined.
Some people, such as Ban, don’t seem to understand that a ceasefire cannot be unilateral in this situation. If Israel stops unilaterally, Hamas will continue firing rockets. More than 8,000 have been fired at Israel since the year 2000. Hamas’ goal was and remains the destruction of Israel. Not creating peace with Israel reduced to the 1949 armistice lines. Total destruction of Israel. It was firing rockets before Israel retaliated and it will continue to fire rockets if Israel stops retaliating.
The only answer is to stop Hamas from being able to fire rockets. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is in the U.S. now signing an agreement to have the U.S. lead an international force to monitor the Egypt/Gaza border and actively prevent smuggling of weapons. AP reports that the agreement would be binding even after Bush leaves office next week.
This international force is a good idea IF it actually does what it is supposed to. UNIFIL in Lebanon was supposed to stop Hezbollah from re-arming after the Second Lebanon War, but instead it has closed its eyes and allowed Hezbollah to re-arm. In the words of Homer Simpson, “D’oh!”