Are Hamas preparing a new wave of suicide bombings in response to Gaza atrocities?

There was a report yesterday from Gershon Baskin that Hamas were ready to send 3,000 suicide bombers into Israel and they had said goodbye to their families.
His report was predictably picked up by some of the right-wing Israeli press to justify the present onslaught on Gaza. Although this was clearly not Baskin’s intent with this report. He had been earlier involved as an intermediary during negotiations with Hamas and then exposed the Israeli government for sabotaging those negotiations by assassinating the senior Hamas official he was negotiating with!
So what do we make of this report? Baskin obviously hoped it would pressurise the Israeli government to back off from their assault on Gaza. He has frequently spoken against it as well as the occupation generally. Although he is someone who, given Hamas’s unwillingness to negotiate, is trying to get a reasonable peace treaty between Arab states and Israel – which I believe Netanyahu will never accept. But is his report true, likely or even possible?
It would be a terrifying prospect if it were true or possible. Not only because of the human carnage and suffering that would be caused. But also because a string of successful suicide bombings across Israel would provide the Israeli govt with an excuse for the assault on Gaza. It could even cause a wider war, with even greater ferocity, on Palestinians.
Is it possible? Well Hamas’s rocket stocks are undoubtedly getting depleted and the possibility of using the tunnels for military purposes are diminishing. But with the slaughter going on in Gaza, there are undoubtedly thousands of young Gazans further traumatised by the carnage and wanting to avenge the deaths of their family. One would hope that they would understand that Hamas has given the Israeli govt the pretext for its invasion, bombardment and blockade – that Hamas’s racism towards Israelis should be dispensed with and an alternative route pursued. One could hope – but how likely is that in Gaza where the possibilities of debate and discussion are so reduced by war.
So, yes I believe it would be possible. But it is the logic of Israel’s war on Gaza as well as Hamas’s war on Israel.
That is why we have to oppose both wars – and unilaterally on each side we should call for the end of offensive action.
If Israel can be made to stop, at least there would be some time to allow Gazans to persuade and pull back anyone mobilised by Hamas for a new wave of suicide bombings.
Is it likely to happen? In reality the vast majority of those bombers would not get through given the extent of Israeli security nowadays. But even the posture and any declaration of a revival of the suicide bombing strategy by Hamas would give the Israeli govt the excuse for even greater persecution of Palestinian and Israeli Arabs.
Nothing can be gained for long term peace and justice, on either side, by this bloody war on Gazan civilians nor even the posturing, never mind the reality, of a further war by Hamas on Israeli civilians.


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