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Israel's false hopes on demilitarisation

Former Army Commander and Defence Minister, MK Shaul Kofaz, has submitted a proposal advocating for the demilitarisation of Gaza. The paper, titled "The Demilitarisation of the Gaza Strip: The Proper Endpoint for Israel of Operation Protective Edge", calls for Hamas's acquiescence to Israel and the international community in return for $50 billion investment in Gaza.

According to the Times of Israel's paraphrasing of Mofaz's arguments, "demilitarisation could gain traction because the notion of rocket fire on any state's cities was clearly anathema to the universally held understanding of sovereignty."

Speaking in favour of demilitarisation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, "The operations against the tunnels are a first and necessary step towards the demilitarisation of the Gaza Strip, and the international community should demand this firmly."

Israel insists upon validating their murderous actions through "international legitimacy" – the duplicitous standard evoked every time an imperialist ally embarks upon destruction and massacres. Obama has also endorsed the idea of demilitarisation as integral to a solution. "Ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarisation of Gaza."

Vague expectations centre round the fact that, once "international legitimacy" and the "international community" are evoked, demilitarisation becomes an objective to work towards, sustained by the usual "both sides" and "conflict" rhetoric. This facilitates the diverting of attention away from the settler colonial state's intention of forcibly displacing huge number of Palestinians to so-called designated safe areas, which are later targeted by precision strikes, thus increasing the murder count.

Implicit within calls for demilitarisation is the deconstruction of authority in Gaza, which would attempt to divest Hamas of its renewed resistance strategy. Both Israel and the US have already envisaged the shifting of power balance in Gaza following Protective Edge, in a way which would ensure a collaborative faction engaging in fallacious diplomacy that would allow the colonisation process to foment in the enclave, thus ensuring a lengthy process of degrading and humiliating Palestinians.

While Hamas's rhetoric has been at times incongruous, so far the resistance movement has tenaciously upheld the right to armed struggle defined through Palestine's historical processes, rather than the snares of international law. Unlike Abbas, whose politics of concessions have aided the current massacre through his objections to armed struggle, Hamas embarked upon tactics combining diplomacy and resistance. However, articulating resistance should be constructed upon the liberation of Palestine, not restricted to Gaza and, even more importantly, not as a means to achieve the imperialist-imposed two-state solution – a scenario which Hamas, through its participation in the formation of the unity government, has seemingly approved.

Just as Israel's claims to "self-defence" are fictional, demilitarisation is also a hypothetical option that will not be endorsed by Palestinians. Considering the resistance's success in targeting the settler-colonial state, as well as the manufacturing of more sophisticated weaponry with the aid of Hezbollah, it is unthinkable that Palestinians would willingly subjugate themselves further to an internationally-endorsed oppressive measure that is nothing more than an a collaborative exercise in ensuring indigenous annihilation.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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