After a tumultuous Friday, during which Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin went missing in action, and was thought to have been abducted (later declared to have been killed in battle), it was also announced that Israeli forces had started withdrawing from Gaza after having supposedly destroyed most or all of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad tunnels that have been used to smuggle both weapons and the terrorists themselves. Reacting to the outrage of many at the confusing withdrawal at a time when we are finally winning, Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu later clarified that "the operation will continue".
Therefore, the question needs to be asked: "What is the next step?"
There are several goals that need to be attained in order to achieve the long-term goal, as stated by Dense Minister Moshe Ya'alon of "crippling terrorism", but first we must understand that although terrorism is an immoral and evil strategy, it is not the enemy. By now, we should know well who the enemy is in this particular war - Hamas is the enemy, Islamic Jihad is the enemy, and yes, also Fatah, which partially finances the terrorism through the Fatah-Hamas unified Palestinian Authority. All of those Islamic terrorist organizations need to be totally disarmed and dismantled, and let there be no illusions - Obama won't do it for us, Kerry won't do it for us, the UN won't do it for us, and even friends like Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper won't do it for us. This absolutely necessary operation will only realistically be carried out by the Israel Defense Forces under the clear and unambiguous directive of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
This will only be accomplished effectively by concerted, ongoing action, fiercely taking the battle to the enemy in the cities of Gaza. The continuing agreement to three day ceasefires is a mistake that has perhaps bought some international understanding, but has greatly increased the danger to our soldiers and to the average citizens of Israel, many tens of thousands of whom have been called to the war effort as reservists.
It is clearly time to take the fight to the enemy, without pause and without hesitation. The next steps needed are as follows:
1. Continue and intensify the ground and air offensive on the cities of Gaza.
2. Confiscate all of the Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah weapons - unapologetically targeting every location where those weapons can be found, including UNRWA-sponsored schools, hospitals, and mosques. Make it clear that the terrorist organizations and the UN hypocrites themselves, are accountable for all resultant civilian deaths.
3. Take full control of Gaza to maintain the peace while Israel's political leadership considers the subsequent steps.
Finally, end all foolish ceasefire negotiations with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Putting aside that any ceasefire at this stage is harmful to our goals, it is abundantly clear that neither Hamas nor Islamic Jihad can be trusted to stick to their word, as they have lied many times in the past, most recently about the abduction of the three teenaged boys.
Remember at all times that we are facing Islamic terrorists who do not play by the rules of western civilization, but rather by the Jihadist cruelty of the Islamic world that knows no kindness and no mercy towards an enemy in war and has no respect for international law. To ignore that reality is to recklessly handicap our soldiers and to imperil their lives, as they attempt to defend the nation.