Two-state solution only way to end cycle of violence
Israel bombed the Jabalia refugee camp in the north of Hamas-ruled Gaza on Saturday, claiming the lives of at least 100 civilians according to the Palestinian side. Israeli military ground forces were operating against Hamas across the Gaza Strip on Sunday.
And the Israeli military earlier ordered people to evacuate some areas in and near the southern city of Khan Younis. Many civilians had moved there to flee earlier attacks in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Although negotiations between Hamas and Israel are reportedly underway, the prospects of a further prolonged pause between the two sides seem bleak.
Israel hopes it can wipe out Hamas completely by relying on its military advantages to turn Gaza into a buffer zone that is expected to keep trouble out of Israel and bring an end to the cycle of violence in the region once and for all.
But history indicates that might only be a wishful thinking and that its violence-must-be-met-with-violence approach is more likely to turn the situation from bad to worse.
True, there might seem to be peace for a time as one side suppresses the other side by force of arms. But that stability will prove to be a short-lived illusion.
The painful losses of the weak side will sow seeds of hatred in its younger generation more quickly when their appeals are stifled and suppressed, passing the fury to the future and turning the buffer zone into a new hotbed for violence. Not to mention the complex cultural and religious backgrounds of the Palestine-Israel conflict.
What Tel Aviv should really care about is not how long it will take to eliminate Hamas, if that is even possible, but the root cause of the Palestinian question — the denial of Palestinians' right to an independent state of Palestine.
Talks to realize the two-state solution should be resumed as soon as possible because this is the common ground of the international community and the fundamental way to settle the Palestinian question.
It is imperative to convene a more authoritative and effective international peace conference on a larger scale, and roll out a road map and timetable for resuming the two-state solution at an early date. Given its close relations with Israel, the United States is obligated to fulfill its international responsibility to accelerate that process. It was not Washington that started this round of conflict, but it can help broker an end to it starting from an overdue cease-fire.