‘Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy resistance without fighting.’ Sun Tzu
The recent atrocities by Hamas and its backers have a single intention; to goad Israel into doing something unforgivably stupid, thereby damaging both Israel’s and the West’s credibility and moral standing in the world. If Israel succumbs to this provocation, it is helping Hamas and Iran to write the script.
Hamas expects Israel to exact a dreadful vengeance. Hamas expects bombs and bullets. They expect relatively innocent Palestinians to die in large numbers. They are counting on Israeli atrocities. What would Hamas and their paymasters least expect? Forbearance, wisdom, kindness, generosity, patience.
Two million Palestinians are trapped in the Gaza strip. They have nowhere to go except hell. That is part of the Hamas plan.
Here is my proposal to confound Hamas and the world.
Instead of deploying 300,000 troops into hand-to-hand fighting in Gaza, Israel establishes a refugee camp on the southwestern border of the strip.
Israel and the West provide resources to rapidly fence this camp and populate it with tents, kitchens, hospitals, security services.
A refugee vetting centre is set up on the border with the Gaza strip. Only women, children and the elderly are allowed into the refugee camp. No men under the age of 70 are allowed in.
Hamas will desperately attack the entrance to the camp, using all means available. This will provide a quick and easy way of identifying and eliminating Hamas operatives.
When the bulk of women and children are safely in the camp, Israeli troops can start processing the remaining male population. Only heavily vetted men will be allowed into a separate male area of the camp, and will be closely watched.
The men remaining in the Gaza strip can now be methodically eliminated without too much collateral damage.
The advantages of this approach are so obvious that I am sure they will be ignored.