It is critical that Israeli policymakers understand that Hamas and Hezbollah's patience, rather than Israeli deterrence or Israeli carrots, explains why they haven't actively joined in the battle between Islamic Jihad and the Jewish State.
Iran is indeed patiently building up the attack capabilities of Hamas and Hezbollah and has no intention of wasting their huge investment.
And the crime is that under "quiet for quiet" the only thing Israel is doing about these massive programs is to dutifully record each weapons factory, testing site, armory, etc. in a target bank.
Yes. Weapons destined for Hezbollah may be destroyed if they are in Syria. But the moment they cross the border into Lebanon it is target bank time. You've no doubt read about the GPS upgrade kits which turn rockets into guided missiles, those which we have destroyed in Syria. However, when the very same kits land in Beirut Airport we do nothing.
People die mysteriously in Lebanon, that is true. But there's no open source coverage of mysterious explosions or other activities in Lebanon which would indicate that the Jewish State is doing anything substantial to prevent the ongoing upgrade of many tens of thousands of rockets into guided missiles.
So these days Hamas has been sitting back and observing our method of operations against rival Islamic Jihad so that it can improve its own military accordingly.
Hamas will continue to openly test their rockets as they extend their range and warhead weight. And we will take notes.
Hamas one day will, if they haven't already, introduce guided missiles. And we will take notes if we are even aware of it.
Hamas will improve and practice their use of drones. And we will take notes.
Hamas will continue carrying out huge military exercises in preparation for judgment day. And we will take notes.
And when the "quiet for quiet" ceasefire with Islamic Jihad goes into effect they also can gleefully openly begin producing rockets for the next round. And we will tale notes.
It's not deterrence it's patience.
It's not work permits. Its patience.
Allowing Gaza to build a seaport or airport won't change their determination to prepare and ultimately participate in judgment day.
To be clear: I support improving the economic lot of Gazans. I think it’s a good idea to allow as many Gazans to be gainfully employed in Israel as possible, subject to security considerations.
But I harbor no illusion that these Israeli "carrots" will somehow prevent Hamas from following attack orders issued from Teheran when that day comes.
Israeli policymakers must recognize this.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rightfully sees Iran as our existential threat.
But our ability to carry out an operation against Iran and the consequences of such an operation would be profoundly different if we FIRST destroy the military capabilities of Hamas and Hezbollah.
Dr. Aaron Lerner heads IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis, since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on Arab-Israeli relations