Israelis push Gaza siege, want post-war IDF control of the strip

Most Israelis, including Arabs, say the world’s formula for peace and security has failed, Israel must take the reins.

By Ryan Jones | | Topics: Hamas, Gaza
Israelis demonstrate in Jerusalem on Thursday against the resupply of Hamas and talk of an independent Palestinian state that includes the Gaza Strip. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90
Israelis demonstrate in Jerusalem on Thursday against the resupply of Hamas and talk of an independent Palestinian state that includes the Gaza Strip. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90

Western governments, the Biden administration in particular, are getting antsy over the future of the Gaza Strip, as they see their touted “two-state solution” withering on the vine. But after October 7, 2023, most Israelis no longer care what the world’s great powers, even those in close alliance with the Jewish state, think about the conflict. Their formulas for peace and security were clearly wrong.

Senior American and European officials, as well as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, have been increasingly beating the drum of Palestinian governance in Gaza and the two-state solution, knowing full well that Israelis are moving in the opposite direction.

This week, Tel Aviv University’s Gershon H. Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences published its most recent “Peace Index” survey showing that a firm majority of Israeli Jews believe that Israel must maintain firm control of Gaza for the foreseeable future, a policy that would preclude any talk of an independent Palestinian state.

The survey was conducted among a representative sample of 605 Israeli adults—Jews and Arabs—between Jan. 8 and Jan. 15, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points at a confidence level of 95 percent.

In response to the question of who should control Gaza the day after the war, Israeli Jews responded:

  • 68.9% – IDF security control in Gaza;
  • 25% – international and regional Arab forces;
  • 2.2% – the Palestinian Authority.

The numbers among all respondents (including Israeli Arabs):

  • 58.5% – IDF security control in Gaza;
  • 27.1% – International forces;
  • 5.8% – the Palestinian Authority.

While it is clear that Israeli Jews, the vast majority of the voting public, will accept nothing short of IDF security control in Gaza, it is equally, if not more interesting that most Israeli Arabs say the same.

A 53% majority of Israeli Jews also say Jewish settlements in Gaza should be reestablished. The experiment of the “Gaza disengagement” has obviously failed. Israel believed that by pulling all Jews from the territory and fully handing it over to the Palestinians, violence in the region would decrease. But the opposite has happened.

In the wake of the barbaric October 7 invasion, far more Israeli civilians have been killed by terrorism coming from Gaza since the 2005 Disengagement than in all the years of Jewish settlement there following the Six Day War in 1967. Similarly, far more IDF soldiers have died in the series of post-Disengagement Gaza wars than fell protecting the Jewish settlements of Gaza between 1970-2005. And, of course, thousands of rockets have rained down on Israeli cities since 2005 as a direct result of allowing the territory to become the largest terrorist military base in the world.

 

No to a Palestinian state

All the above notwithstanding, Western diplomats still think a Palestinian state is the only way to achieve peace and security, for both Israel and the Palestinians.

Israelis disagree.

In response to the question of whether or not they support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, the response from Israeli Jews was as follows:

  • 66% oppose a Palestinian state;
  • 27% support a Palestinian state.

The international community’s chief objective in the Middle East land-for-peace process no longer enjoys the support of a majority of Israelis. And after the Oct. 7 atrocities, any Israeli politician who follows the world’s lead in this regard is likely to commit political suicide.

 

Total war

Regarding the situation now in the midst of the war, which Israeli leaders say will last many more months, if not years, again Israelis and the international community do not see eye-to-eye, to put it mildly.

According to the Biden administration, too many Palestinians have died in Gaza as a result of this war, and Guterres went so far as to call the death toll “unprecedented” in his time as secretary-general, a bald-faced lie that ignores all the other major conflicts currently raging around the world.

Almost 90% of Israeli Jews who responded to the above survey, however, said that the number of casualties on the Palestinian side is entirely or relatively justified.

Just over half of Israeli Jews said the IDF has used “appropriate force” in executing the war against Hamas in Gaza, while 43.3% said the Israeli army has used “too little force.” Very few Israeli Jewish respondents felt the IDF had used inappropriate force against Gaza.

 

No aid

In addition to ramping back up the war in Gaza, many Israelis also want to see a halt to the supply of “humanitarian aid,” again a measure that the Americans insisted upon.

Nearly all of the supplies that enter Gaza are immediately confiscated by Hamas, thus resupplying the terror group and prolonging the war.

See: Hamas kills Arab boy for approaching humanitarian aid

This morning, Israelis gathered at the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip for the third straight day to prevent the entry of humanitarian aid trucks.

Among the hundreds of demonstrators are families of hostages still being held by Hamas and of IDF soldiers who fell on the battlefields of Gaza.

They insist that no aid be provided to the enemy until every last Israeli hostage is returned, including the bodies of those who were murdered.

Dozens of aid trucks have been successfully prevented from entering Gaza.

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