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Gaza: Fighting Ends, Reloading Begins, Causes of Conflict Remain

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The latest round of warfare between Israel and Hamas may be over, but the problem and the roots of the problem still remain... the Palestinians are no closer to having their own homeland, Hamas is busy replenishing its now depleted rocket supply and the wider Arab world still refuses to accept that Israel, as Jewish homeland, has a place in the region.

Throughout much of the Arab and wider Islamic world, Israel still doesn't appear on their maps... Palestine still does. Until this changes the status quo of this area will not change.

As I have written previously, the Palestinian Arabs need their own state because they have become a distinct group in that other Arab nations won't accept them and Israel certainly doesn't want them. So, as an isolated people they need to chart their own future.

Yet, the reason they haven't achieved their nationhood is imbedded in the root of a conflict that began during WW1 with the rise of Arab nationalism. The Palestinian leaderships in Gaza and on the West Bank are united in maintaining a hard-fast Arab League position of not recognizing that a Jewish state exists in the heart of Islam.

West Bank Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says he is prepared to recognize Israel as a nation but not as a predominantly Jewish nation. This as opposed to all Arab nations, with the possible exception of now anarchic Lebanon, being officially Islamic.

Abbas' long-term goal is to work through political channels to delegitimize Israel and eventually do to it what his predecessor Yasser Arafat did to Lebanon. That's when his minions were driven out of Jordan and into Lebanon after the failed 1970 Black September revolution aimed at overthrowing King Hussein and establishing a Palestinian state in Jordan.

Hamas, the cabal leading Gaza, wants none of that and will not recognize Israel no matter what happens, remaining dedicated to destroying it. This is a fact, which leads one to ask: Why do the people of Gaza support a group which has continually brought upon them deadly Israeli counter attacks?

You might use the late Saddam Hussein's rule by fear as an explanation. The Iraqi leader lead his nation into three avoidable wars costing hundreds of thousands of lives, yet he remained fixed in power almost until the very end. In the case of Hamas, the same ignorance and fear plus the added belief that Hamas will be the Gazans messiah may be the answer.

Recently seven Gaza men, alleged to be informers for Israel, were rounded up by Hamas and quickly executed in public to the cheers of many... shades of Saddam and the fear factor.

The Gaza Strip, the home of the ancient Indo-European Philistine nation, as beachfront property has the potential to be a major tourist destination and shipping port. But to do this there must be peace and investment. Here the Arabs are their own worst enemies.

They have put their futures in the hands of the Islamist group Hamas which won't make peace with Israel and which in-turn keeps Israel and Egypt maintaining partial blockades of goods into the strip.

For Hamas' part it has no wish to recreate a Tel Aviv style beachfront in Gaza complete with bikini clad women. The group rejects much of what it sees as western decadence.

But, the internationally criticized blockade doesn't seem to affect the ever-increasing numbers and sizes of military rockets and large rocket launchers smuggled in and used to attack Israel. This brings ever more violent Israeli responses and Gaza remains mired in poverty and despair.

This won't change until the population demands peace, new leadership and accepts Israel unconditionally. In a sense Gaza could act as a microcosm of the entire Arab Spring revolution.

The various Arab populations rose up for freedom, liberty and better lifestyles. What most got were Islamic governments, which by their theocratic nature, in the long-term probably won't be able to give the people what they were seeking. This may result in more regional unrest. Just look at Egypt right now.