After the dust of war started clearing and noise of rockets calmed, three of the four parties involved in Gaza war- and truce-making left satisfied while only one bears the loads of defeat… Hamas claims victory, Israel claims the campaign achieved its target; Morsi’s Egypt is more than happy with its new role on the Middle East political stage, while Palestine the people, land and dream of an independent state fades in the light of current events.
Morsi got Egypt back as a main player in the region after two years of internal turmoil. His mediation was accepted on both sides which gives more international credibility to his new regime. With this move Egypt gained most with minimal risks and no losses at all.
The Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, claimed that Gaza campaign met its goals of “strengthening Israel’s deterrence capabilities and hammering militants in Gaza”; a claim that can easily be disputed. No one can guarantee that Hamas and al-Jihad are paralyzed now (both say the war didn’t affect their military ability and rocket supplies). The Palestinian groups were still able to launch rockets just hours before the truce.
Though it is true that Israel actually in several ways achieved the goal stated by Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai: “to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.” another achievement of the Israeli ruling company is marginalizing moderate voices in Israel and giving a big boost to the racists and far-right groups that nourish on the atmosphere of hatred created by war.
Hamas v/s Palestine
The truce was considered a victory in Gaza. Never mind the low criteria of victory held by a desperate 60 years victory-deprived nation. Sirens in Tel-Aviv and the wide wave of panic in major cities are celebrated as a big victory. But what did the truce change? Israel seems unserious about lifting the blockade (see here). Anyway passing points will still be controlled by Israel and be liable to closure at any time. So we are back to point zero.
The amount of destruction left by bombs in Gaza is estimated to be $30 million per day in the one week long war; not talking about the indirect economical effects that will last long before recovery. This will toughly affect Gaza residents but not Hamas as a political entity. On the other side of the front the Israeli economy will continue to function normally after the short coercive vacation as the Israeli infrastructure was not affected by war.
Hamas, though, can celebrate a political victory; but ironically, a victory over the Palestinian government not Israel. Hamas grew stronger after the war as it gained international acceptance as a side to negotiate with, to sign deals of war and peace; while the PA Abbas sits in Ramallah totally ignored by the international society. Marginalizing Abbas, PLO and the Palestinian government did not come by chance.
The Israelis know well that their wars result in increasing the influence of militant groups on land at the expense of the legitimate sovereignty of a third party (in this case the Palestinian government). But this is in their interest also. Israel (and the west) is punishing Abbas and his project of an independent Palestinian state. Note that through the war no one in the media was talking about a war between Israel and Palestine. It was a war with Gaza and Hamas. Palestine is intentionally omitted. Gazans not Palestinians are dead. Everything was prepared to murder the Palestinian project of having an independent state. Hamas is (may be unintentionally) a complicit.
It seems that Israel (and the west) is pleased with having islamists ruling all over the Arab world even in the close surrounding of the Jewish state. Israel then want be a black swan, a race based, religious state midst secular republics. It may well serve the goal of sending not only Gaza, but all the Middle East, to Middle Ages.