Of all the myths that surround the Israeli-Arab conflict, the most prominent and cherished is that the inevitable solution is a two-state framework.
Will this military offensive contribute to the final puzzle in the region - peace between Israel and Palestine, and a viable two-state solution?
As an increasing number of Israelis and Palestinians shift towards more militant means of achieving their respective political goals against a backdrop of coalescing hawkish groups, failed peace initiatives, and rising anti-Israeli sentiment, expect a continued growth in Mid-East violence centered on Israel.
After years of gradually losing its standing as a neutral arbiter between the Israelis and Palestinians, the U.S. government finally and openly declared sides during the Gaza conflict. Unless President Barack Obama delivers on his promise to chart a new course, the U.S. will lose its place as a primary Middle-East mediator.
Israel is about to launch Phase III of Operation Cast Lead – the capture of Gaza City. Electoral considerations almost certainly predict that Israel will attempt to topple Hamas and re-occupy Gaza, until Hamas’ rival Fatah can re-establish control on the ground. The Third Palestinian Intifada may be in the offing.
As allegations of war crimes mount and anti-Israeli protests sweep across the globe, Israel appears to be losing its PR offensive against Hamas. Meanwhile, a new generation of Palestinians scarred by the war will increasingly turn to militancy, resulting in perpetual conflict in the region.
Israel has launched a ground invasion of Gaza, re-entering the tiny territory after three years. Almost 600 Palestinians have died and over 2700 have been injured, while a reported 10 Israelis have died, including 1 soldier, and a few dozen have been injured in the 11-day war. The United States has blocked a ceasefire attempt at the UN.